I knew this year would be different for me. It was my third time attending the conference. More attendees were enrolled than last year (2400 vs 1000). And, the biggest difference of all, Bob had died.
Last year, we'd just received word Bob was in remission when I left for Chicago. I was cautiously optimistic. He'd breezed through chemotherapy. He insisted I go. He wanted our lives to stay as normal as possible. Me attending BlogHer was part of that normalcy.
This year, it was overwhelming at times. I loved meeting literally hundreds of people I'd yet to meet in person. What I struggled with were the things I struggle with every day--the triggers. During the Voices of BlogHer, I had to step out as soon as the subject changed to cancer. I tried not to sprint out of the room, but it was certainly a brisk walk. I wanted to stay and listen. I couldn't. Instead, I hovered outside the ballroom doors, peeking in every time they opened to see if the presenter was done.
Yet, the Grief Panel? I had no problem attending that. I cried. I also laughed along with the panelists. The individuals sitting on that stage were people I've had the privilege to lean on and learn from so much this past year.
Who can forget the parties and NYC nightlife? I fell in love with the city in the short time I was there, as I'm sure anyone who met me can attest. I can't remember the last time I danced so much. A dream come true!
Thank you again, BlogHer, for being you. You challenge me. You teach me hard lessons about myself and others. I am a better person because of it.