Here I sit at the last formal BlogHer event – the keynote address, a q&a with Heather Armstrong and Stephanie Klein (love these ladies, but I was secretly hoping for Michelle Obama). I have had an incredible time over these last three days. The comradery, the new friendships formed. The fun met and exceeded my expectations. To all the women; talented and beautiful souls I’ve had the honor of spending time with, thank you. More laughs then I can remember and real memories I’ll keep always.

As for the conference itself, perhaps my expectations were off. The only real expectations I had were one: meeting those wonderful women I’ve corresponded with a little or a lot over the last year and two: finding the desire to write more…blog better, be inspired, have stories to tell, something. On the contrary, if anything, I’ve been fearful of posting this entire weekend and I’ve been searching for the reason why.

Maybe it is as easy as I’m not a writer. I’m not an artist using WordPress as my clay. You’re not going to be casually cruising your local Barnes and Noble and see my big hair in the window on a book someday. I have neither the talent nor drive. Oh, don’t get me wrong, had I the words to do such a thing, nothing next to my role as a mother would bring me such a sense of accomplishment. But giving the world it’s next great masterpiece is not my purpose. I mean, I think we’d know by now if I was the reincarnation of Shakespeare, right?

Hell, I think we’d all be happy if I could manage to stop using run-on sentences and improper punctuation – baby steps I guess.

The amazing talent I stood next to this weekend humbled me. I’ve often stayed away from a subject matter because so many other woman were already blogging about it and saying it so much better than I ever could. I envy the writing abilities of so many of you out there. If I spent my time comparing myself to you, I’d never post again! Regrettably, I think I was doing a little bit of that this weekend.

A few years ago, after repeated failed attempts at regular scrapbooking, I took a stab at card making. It was really the only way to get the endless amount of scrapping shit supplies out of my house short of burning them in frustration and really how green can that be? I turned out to be a decent cardmaker. When I am crafting a card for someone I love, someone I want to impress and make happy, I thrive. Then my sister-in-law asked me to make invitations for an event she was hosting as well as a couple “freelance” jobs through friends and relatives of hers. It was a terrible three weeks. I hated every cut I made, every glue dot I used. Somebody else was dictating the theme, the colors, the feel. It was awful and the end result – the cards, my art – no longer represented me. In the end I lost the enjoyment of it all.

In some ways, this blog is my new card making. And this weekend, I could have easily lost sight of what makes it enjoyable to me. I’ll be damned if anyone (read: me) turns it into something I no longer recognized, something that no longer reflects me.

So this is my mission statement – a little late to the dance, but this is why I blog:

What you are reading right now is a means to connect with someone: you, my daughter someday, anyone who gets me or wants to. I am lucky to be surrounded in “real life’ by loving souls and I cherish them. But that doesn’t always meet my needs. Who out there is having their needs met entirely? This blog and more importantly the people it connects me to fills a void in my life.

AND

I have opinions I want to express somewhat intelligently. As you all know, that is hit or miss. But know that if I’m taking the time to type even a paragraph about an issue, it is one that has impacted me in some way. I want you to know that and even if you don’t agree, I want you to add a little piece to the tapestry that is your impression of me. For better or worse, we are so defined by the things we prioritize, no?

I became part of this community to find people just like me, people foreign to me and sprinklings of everything in between. Thankfully, I have found enormous success in this area. And more importantly, through knowing them and their “missions”, I’ve been able for the first time to write my own.

So this BlogHer experience was a good one, if for no other reason than it reminded me of who I am and why I have taken the leap into this world I love so much.

Thanks to the gals who made the weekend for me (please forgive the very incomplete list that follows): Meghan at A Mom Two Boys and fearless leader of All Mediocre; Susan at WMAG; Shannan at MommyBits; K at Headless Mom; Casey from Moosh In Indy; Jennifer at Playgroups are No Place for Children; my roommate Nancy and all the others who made me laugh and think and feel like a unique piece of an amazing puzzle. In the days and weeks ahead, there are many new faces I will introduce you to and specific happenings (like winning a designer dress, see below, from Igigi that makes me look thinner – a miracle of modern sewing – thanks to MoPie at Big Fat Deal) so stay tuned!

no this isn’t me

no this isn’t me either

(it’s Headless Mom’s giveaway, pic by Shannan at MommyBits)