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Monday, August 13, 2012

Darkest Before Dawn.

So I've been home for a week now. And a heavy week it's been.

Partly for understanding, and partly for pure distraction, I've read a lot of other recaps, trying to see myself in the words of others, to see if there was anyone who felt the way I did about BlogHer '12 and had the visceral reactions I did.

But the thing is, I still don't really know how I feel about it.

When my friends ask me, I'm quick to admit that I cried through most of it and I get really uncomfortable, because so many people know how very excited I was to go, and to see their faces fill with disappointment for me because it wasn't the experience I expected or hoped for just weighs me down, like somehow I let down my home team.

The more distance I get from NYC, though, the more I'm able to see what I did gain from the experience. There wasn't some giant ah-ha moment or overwhelming invigorating sense of purpose that overcame me by being in the presence of 5000 other bloggers, but more a realization that resounded with every session I attended, every story I listened to, and every blogger I met.

I have known all along what to do.

I just have to do it.

And for the first time, I feel like I have the tools and the understanding to actually accomplish something.

That, in itself, is mother effing empowering.

The words I've been struggling with for so long now, the things I haven't been able to vocalize because it all felt too much to bear, this is my strength and my purpose, these stories that scare me in their brutal honesty in my own soul. They're forming now, and they are patiently waiting for me to create them wholly and set them free in their own image. I have blueprints and maps and support from the most unimaginable places and for the first time, it all doesn't feel like a pipe dream, but an inevitable reality.

I have known all along what to do.

I just have to do it.

(And, to be able to say I met so many amazing writers and people that I admire and respect who occasionally even knew who I was is nothing to shake a stick at, even if I did ugly cry at all of them. To realize that there, with those people, I actually had a place and a voice worth hearing even as I sobbed, that is something I didn't even know I needed, but after having it for a brief moment, I realize how completely invaluable it is, and I wouldn't give that back for anything.)

I was blessed to share stories with such amazing people, to hear and be heard and to realize that all of this isn't really about anyone else than me, and isn't for anyone else but me, and that that is enough and I am enough and that next year, next year I will be able to go home for the first time in years and again meet these people that I will hope to be able to call friends by this time next year, that is the singular hope that propels me forward headlong into what I've been too afraid to do up until now.

So let's acknowledge that I went to NYC. Let's know that it wasn't anything I expected it to be, but in some other ways, it was my wildest dreams come true, and that no matter what, I gained perspective and resolve I never would have found otherwise.

I have known all along what to do.

I just have to do it.

And I've already begun.