So I have been blogging here for over 2 years now, since June 2008 and blogging in general since August 2005. I love blogging for a number of different reasons. I love being able to document all the little moments in my life that I may not remember. I love being a part of something bigger than I am. I love being the me that I don’t have the confidence to be in the real world. I love that I can connect to a whole world of amazing people without leaving the comfort of my couch, or if I am really lucky, the sunshine of the back yard or park across the road.
When I started this blog, I used it as a space to be me, the real me. I could try on different hats if I wanted to. I could be braver online than I am in the real world. I didn’t have to be a just a mum struggling to juggle kids, work and all the extras that come with life these days. I could try to find me, the real me hidden amongst all the mess I was constantly surrounded by. I came to depend on having this space to call my own. I connected with other bloggers and actively sought out Aussie bloggers to follow and I have loved being a part of the community that has developed. Whilst I have loved the community, I am still not brave enough to be actively involved. I am still filled with doubts about who I am and what the hell I am doing in this space. Even if I did know what I was doing (and I don’t), I don’t have the time to devote to being completely connected. I am on Twitter, but don’t tweet frequently (stupid work firewalls and crazy busy times). I lurk on Facebook. I am a member of Aussie Mummy Bloggers but I don’t spend enough time there to ‘get it’. I try to blog regularly and kind of keep up here but am 8 months behind on my other blog. I read bajillions of blogs, well at least 100 regularly but I don’t comment often enough to be immersed in the community.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this world of blog but overall I am pretty half-arsed with my attempts at social networking and that is where my latest dilemma lies – tickets for the Aussie Bloggers Conference are on sale now. Do I go or do I wimp out and stay home?
What first attracted me to blogging was the sense of community, especially when I was following US based bloggers and reading about BlogHer and reading about the excitement of meeting other bloggers in real life. It sounded so exciting and I wished that there was an Australian version. Well now that there is, I am kind of freaking out. I don’t do so well in social situations, hence the attraction of blogging. I like being able to blurt (in type) and then edit. I like being able to write my anger and frustration to make me feel better, even without pressing publish. In person, I feel as if I am completely incapable of stringing a coherent sentence together but if I do manage to utter something, I have a terrible case of foot-in-mouth disease and wish that I didn’t open my mouth at all.
I want to be able to say that I was at the very first ever Aussie Bloggers Conference. I want to meet all the amazing people that I stalk follow but can I deal with the anxiety that will accompany it?
One of my earliest in-real-life meetings of an Aussie Blogger was meeting Karen from Misc Mum at her book launch for Surprise! Meeting her was super nerve wracking, it needn’t have been – she is as lovely in real life as she is online but I was so far out of my comfort zone that I am sure I made a total fool of myself as I hid behind my kids. I wouldn’t have my kids to hide behind at the conference, it would be all me.
In typical me style, I did go to a Melbourne Bloggers meet-up a while back. It was an awesome day but knowing that I would be going sans kids, I begged a friend and former blogger to come along with me, to be my security blanket. As much as I would love to spend the weekend with her, I really don’t think I can convince her to fly to Sydney with me to be my security blanket.
In both of these situations I did survive, in fact I had a great time. The main difference is that both these events were free. To go to the conference I need to not only to book a ticket to the conference (by Saturday to get the early-bird discount), but to fly to Sydney and find somewhere to stay. All in all, not only will the social anxiety be potentially crippling, it is also going to cost a pretty packet. I know that I will regret not going, I really do want to go and I am pretty sure that I will go, I think.
I have almost convinced myself to click over and book my ticket, but to spend all that money on myself, well that is another hurdle that I will have to conquer.