I always worry about my plane crashing. I used to be a pretty normal flyer - a few butterflies on takeoff, random worries about the things that go bump on the plane, as it were, gratitude when I was on solid ground again, annoyance that that woman with all the crap in the overhead bin just couldn't slide over just a LITTLE bit so as not to impede the progress of 100 people trying to get the hell off.
Sometime last year I became a super nervous flyer. My mind became a total jackass and turned me into that person who actually buys the little bottles of cheap red wine for MEDICINAL PURPOSES. I don't know why, but it made a (total of, with layovers) 20-hour trip to Hanoi an exercise in hell, and sets me on the edge of my seat for the bulk of every flight, unable to sleep.
My trip to San Francisco for BlogHer, I planned for this - planned ahead, that is, with a little bit of medicine for mama to take the edge off, I admit it. I wished I didn't have to, but I was not going to go through this hell again, leaving me uncoiling for the first day of an event of which I do not wish to miss a single minute. Crazy stuff: it worked. I made it everywhere in good form, arms and legs quite loose and brain not completely overwhelmed and just all warm and fuzzy and in love with the universe.
Still not a huge fan of the flying thing, but if pressed, I would say that the reason my plane didn't crash on the way here was so I could read last night in the Community Keynote.
I love this conference. It's my third year, and the haters can shut it, because not only is it not ONLY about the shoes (although, for me, it's a little bit about the wine, but that makes it no different than anywhere else in my world) it is about everything else. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my writing life, and it's up there in my personal life as well. I am an unashamed, unabashed supporter. And now my love is just off any chart in existence, because no other opportunity has arisen in my life - ever - to get up and read something incredibly deeply personal in front of almost 1,000 people, and - once I got out there, after much pre-reading angst - to look out and feel completely supported and at ease.
And afterwards? AFTERWARDS? I'm still amazed that several wonderful people took the time to seek me out - in the hotel lobby - on the way to the party - at the MightyHaus shindig later - to tell me how they felt about what I wrote. They told me their very personal and meaningful stories. They cried. They made me cry. They said things about me, about bravery, about...well, just a lot of things that I have trouble owning for myself a lot of the time, and have to say I don't always believe, but this has been a pretty big step in the right direction of shutting up the aforementioned jackass brain.
I'll write more about this later - my battery is dying and I have to go speak on a panel about blogging without kids (which, gotta say, after standing up alone in front of a ballroom full of people? let's just say I hope it isn't harder than I think it's going to be.) But because I know some new people are stopping by here today, thanks to the awesome Eden Kennedy, I just wanted to say that the experience was one of the best and most meaningful of my life. I'm really glad my plane didn't crash so I could do it, and I don't really know what happens next, ever, with anything, but this was pretty fucking awesome.