Why Kyeli didn’t go to Blogworld
Last week, I (Pace) went to Blogworld while Kyeli went on a cruise with our best friend.
We didn’t plan it that way. We had a long discussion about whether the business could afford to send both of us to Blogworld, and we eventually decided on no. It would be almost twice as expensive, but would it be twice as good for the business? It’s hard to quantify these things, but our answer was… probably not. As lovely as it would be to have the prettiest girl in Vegas hanging on my arm, I couldn’t really justify it as a business expense.
So we tearfully decided that only one of us would go to Blogworld, and that it would be me, since I’m better at meeting people.
It was hard for me, because I (in my role as treasurer of our business) hate having to tell Kyeli that she can’t have nice things. It was hard for Kyeli, since she loves to travel. It was hard for both of us, because we prefer to be together, especially when meeting new people.
Serendipitously, our best friend Amanda needed a cabinmate for a cruise the same week that I’d be at Blogworld. Kyeli was quick to volunteer, and she had a fantastic time. All in all, it worked out pretty well, except for a few scrapes during re-entry.
I don’t think Kyeli would have had a good time in Vegas anyway.
Two words: indoor smoking.
(Two more words: Carrot Top.)
There were a handful of people who I bumped into over and over again during Blogworld. Saying hi in the halls, sharing a meal, having a great conversation — these folks were everywhere.
- Ali Luke (aka Ali Hale) of Aliventures (@alihale)
- Andy Hayes, the travel guy (@andrewghayes)
- Benny Lewis, the Irish Polyglot (@irishpolyglot)
- Catherine Caine of Be Awesome Online (@CatherineCaine)
- Jade Craven. Just Jade Craven. (@JadeCraven)
- Jen Gresham of Everyday Bright (@JenGresham)
- John Haydon of Inbound Zombie (@JohnHaydon)
- Karol Gajda, ridiculously extraordinary (@KarolGajda)
- Matt Gartland of Healthy Lifestyle Design (@MattGartland)
- Matthew Kimberley of How to Get a Grip (@mjkimberley)
- Nathalie Lussier, the Raw Foods Witch (yeah, I know she was my roomie, but I bumped into her all over the place despite that!) (@NathLussier)
- Shane Ketterman of TCGeeks (Tablet Computer Geeks) (@tc_geeks)
- Sid Savara of BlogcastFM (and Srini too, but I bumped into Sid way more often) (@SidSavara)
- Thursday Bram of Hyper Modern Consulting (@thursdayb)
- Traci Love of The Bad Girls’ Guide to Business (@tracilove)
My guess is that if these people were all over the place in the circles I run in at Blogworld, they’ll be all over the place in the circles you run in online. I could be making the usual error, but time will tell, eh? (:
Of the Blogworld Bunch, I had nice long one-on-one talks with 5 of them.
While waiting for my connecting flight in the Dallas airport, I overheard someone say “blog.”
“Blog?” I replied.
“Blog! Blog blog blog blog blog,” we chatted.
As anyone who read the subheader has probably figured out by now, it was Jen Gresham. I asked her if she would switch seats with the person next to me so we could talk during the flight, and she did! We sat next to a guy who loans money to truckers, and we talked with him for a while about how he could use blogging or social media to help his business. I think our best idea was a “Stories From The Road” podcast where he interviews truckers to get their most interesting stories.
Jen and I often met in the evenings to catch up on what had happened during the day. She thanked me for being her “anchor”, acting as if I was doing her a favor, but I’ll bet I enjoyed her company at least as much as she enjoyed mine. (:
I selfishly made sure I’d get to spend lots of time with Nathalie by sharing a hotel room with her. (; Last SXSW in Austin, she slept on our couch, so it was just like old times, except of course for the notable lack of Kyeli.
Nathalie is sweet, smart, and best of all, she made a trip to Whole Foods so I got to munch on her yummy raw snacks all weekend. (: Like me, Nathalie is skilled at creating software as well as helping people, and I’m envious of how she’s melded both of these skills with The Magick Menu.
I think our best conversation was the one we stayed up late for on the very last night, where we talked about the ethics of pop-up ads and cleavage. (:
I knew Shane from Third Tribe, and we saw each other at Third Tribe breakfasts, but we didn’t really get to know each other until we randomly bumped into each other in the hall, sat down, and had a long chat.
We talked about our personal lives, Oregon, and interesting stories from our past. I think I kind of blew his mind a little, but he was super sweet about it.
Shane is earnest and enthusiastic, and I love watching him share his enthusiasm with others. (:
I also knew Traci from Third Tribe, and she asked if she could interview me for her “Bad Girls of Business” thingamajig. I thought “WTF? I’m totally not a bad girl.” But when she explained what she meant, I was all in. It’s about rejecting the “good girl” stereotype of “be meek, fit in, do what you’re told”. Basically being fierce instead of “peaceful”.
And that, I can get behind 100%.
The interview went great (I’ll post a link to it when it’s up) and luckily for me, her next interviewee was late, so we got to talk for a really long time.
Despite having completely different businesses, completely different short-term goals, and completely different fashion sense, Traci and I have a lot in common. We both want to help people. We both want to make the world a better place, and we have deliciously similar ideas on how to make it happen. We both believe in the power of knowing yourself, accepting yourself, and loving yourself.
Every few minutes, I wanted to stand up and cheer because I agreed with her so fervently.
Oh! And she has a book that is the most beautiful printed book I have ever seen in my entire life! If you ever see her in meatspace, you must ask her to show you this book. It’s even more beautiful than Universal Principles of Design! (There’s an e-book version, but it doesn’t do it justice.)
So yeah. Traci. Fantastic person, big heart, exceptionally cute glasses.
This story ends well, I promise.
But it doesn’t begin well.
My near-first impression of Catherine was when she wrote a blog post, and some people I care about were hurt.
“Warning!” I thought. “Steer clear!”
“This is not someone I want to be associated with, lest my name end up on a blog post like that one. This is not someone I want to be friends with, because she seems unstable and potentially dangerous. This is not someone I want to hang out with, because the people I care about who felt hurt by her might feel betrayed.”
So I steered clear… until Blogworld.
Catherine was one of the Blogworld Bunch, so she was often near. Steering clear of her began to feel more and more awkward to me. I felt the right thing to do would be to be open and honest with her about why I was keeping my distance.
So I asked her to sit down with me for a one-on-one conversation (no small feat at Blogworld) and I spilled my guts.
“I think you’re 99% awesome,” I began, “and I would like to be your friend. But I’m feeling a lot of resistance because of that remaining 1%, and here’s why.”
I told her how I felt about that blog post, and my friends’ reactions to it.
I told her my fear that if I tell my friends “Hey, Catherine is awesome!” and then she says something else that hurts someone I care about, I’ll feel like a schmuck for setting them up for it.
I told her about how I interpreted her Get Catherine to Blogworld post as “Please help me coddle my issues” instead of “Please help me do something awesome.”
She agreed that that blog post was a big mistake, she acknowledged she hurt others, and she said she was sorry. She told me that she regrets it and that she’s learned from it. She went into great detail on how she could have handled it better. She was surprised at my interpretation of the Blogworld post, and she explained her intent (which didn’t suck).
She told me how much she appreciated me bringing this up with her instead of letting it fester.
She acknowledged my fears.
She said, “I can’t promise that I’ll never make another mistake. But I can tell you that I always try to do my best and to do the right thing.”
“I have faith in you,” I replied.
A lot. (:
The moral of the story (Unsurprisingly, it’s about connection)
I didn’t attend a single keynote, panel, or presentation. (Except for Nathalie’s.)
I went to Blogworld to see familiar faces, to share hellos and hugs.
I went to Blogworld to meet new people and make new friends.
I went to Blogworld to share meals and conversation with some of my favorite people who I only get to see once or twice a year.
I went to Blogworld to sit down and really get to know people. Not just chatting and networking, but deep, real connection.
And I got it all — in spades.
For me, that’s what it’s all about.