GingerSass

adding ginger to your sass

GingerSass - adding ginger to your sass

the obligatory #BlogHer15 post

I’ve put off writing about BlogHer15 not because I didn’t enjoy myself, or because I have nothing to say.

I’m not quite sure how to articulate what led me to BlogHer this year.

Professionally, this past school year has been a whirlwind. A few months into my second year of teaching, I was asked to change my schedule and take over a college-level writing course. I struggle with change, and having a change happen so quickly– over the 2 weeks of Winter Break– was difficult for me. I went from 2 junior classes I loved dearly to 2 classes of reluctant seniors. It all worked out in the end, but it was hard. Add visits to specialists, leaving my childhood behind and moving in with V, and planning a wedding, not to mention unexpected popularity with Gay Bride Guide, and I was left in a bit of a state of disarray.

My blogging suffered.

It was announced that BlogHer15 was in NYC, 45 minutes from home, around the same time that I was told I needed to take an additional graduate level English course in order to keep teaching my college-level writing course next school year. I justified attending BlogHer15 by my sudden renewed identity as a student, and thus being able to technically purchase a student ticket.

Still, I wasn’t convinced I should go to BlogHer.

While I enjoyed spending time with a friend last time BlogHer was in NYC, commuting back and forth was draining. So, I posted a Facebook status on a whim, and Sarah became my BlogHer15 roommate.

Then, a few months went by, and I was offered the position of teaching summer school. My bank account has been feeling the effects of saving for a wedding only a few months away, and I immediately said yes. Only moments later did I recognize that I wasn’t allowed to be absent.

For the entire month of July.

During BlogHer.

Oops.

So, I thought about it. I rationalized that my student ticket still paid for itself with celebrations Friday and Saturday nights, as well as a session or two and meals on Saturday. I’d still go to BlogHer.

Then I remembered I was struggling to blog regularly.

I took a breath, and committed to blogging once a week. That failed.

Then, once July began, I forced myself to blog daily. i began to feel less like a fraud.

On the Wednesday before BlogHer, I was at the hairdresser, sending Elisa pics of my haircut process (my BlogHer tradition!), when my phone rang. I didn’t see the missed calls until after my hair was done.

My life changed in an instant.

Without going into details, life happened. I called out of summer school for 2 days. I tried to figure out how to send my roommate my share of the hotel room. I accepted I’d lose the cost of the BlogHer ticket.

Then, life turned around, again, and I was told by my family and V to still go to BlogHer on Friday afternoon.

So, I went. I felt fragile. I didn’t want to talk to anyone but the man serving desserts.

And my tribe found me and took care of me the rest of the weekend.

Forget tech talk. Forget learning things. Forget networking.

For me, BlogHer is the high school reunion I actually want to go to. I’ve never been more grateful for my tribe.

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Featured selfie-ists:

Alexandra of Good Day, Regular People

Sarah of This-Here-Now

Lizz of Am I A Funny Girl?

Deborah of Peaches and Coconuts and VillageQ

Tabatha of So Tabulous and Turn Right at Lake Michigan

Jasmine of Just Jasmine

Katie of KTMade

Vikki of Up Popped a Fox and VillageQ

Laurie of Laurie Writes

Susan of (Well, I knew her initially as Mama NonGrata, but she’s cooler now) SusanLGoldberg.com

Dresden of Creating Motherhood

Elisa, who co-founded BlogHer

Overwhelmed

I first started GingerSass as a way to cope with my social awkwardness at a conference I was attending. It became my outlet during grad school, and, for the first time, I started to identify as a writer.

However, I was a writer without a niche.

I didn’t fit your typical blogs– I wasn’t a mommy blogger, I wasn’t proactively reviewing products, and I didn’t have One Thing to focus on.

I unsuccessfully tried to become part of various blogging networks for a few years, but then I stopped trying.

When I stopped trying, things took off.

In the past 24 hours, GingerSass became part of the BlogHer Publishing Network, something I was rejected from– twice– when my blog was at its peak. GayBrideGuide has received an unbelievable amount of attention in the past 24 hours as well.

Honestly, I’m completely overwhelmed to have two websites that people are interested in. It’s scary, full of pressure, and completely overwhelming in a fabulous sort of way.

The blogging world is so freaking unpredictable, and I’m grateful for it.

In an unrelated note, OMG Max is getting old.

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I can’t quit you, BlogHer.

I have this weird relationship with BlogHer. In an odd sort of way, BlogHer is like an unexpected first relationship.

I went to Ginger's Bar, I met the Jimmy Dean sun, I met Dani Shay, and I met the Lorax at BlogHer12.

I went to Ginger’s Bar, I met the Jimmy Dean sun, I met Dani Shay, and I met the Lorax at BlogHer12.

I first went to BlogHer12 when it was in New York City, and I felt kind of overwhelmed. Even though it was in my backyard, it was still mind-boggling. Blogging was new to me, and I hadn’t quite gotten the hang of it, but OMG everything was new and shiny and the people there GOT MY WEIRDNESS.

Photo Credit: The BlogHer ’13 Fashion Show brought to you by Ulta.

Photo Credit: The BlogHer ’13 Fashion Show brought to you by Ulta.

When BlogHer13 happened, I was a lot more confident in my blog, and myself. The conference was less new and shiny and more about enjoying the intimacy of being able to be with My People. I went out of my comfort zone by being a model in a fashion show, but, outside of that, I stuck to the familiarity of people I had grown accustomed to.

a suitcase full of some of my poetry books

how I spent BlogHer14: POETRY BOOKS

By the time BlogHer14 rolled around, I was kind of tired and jaded. I couldn’t swing flying out to San Jose for a blogging conference– especially after my first year of teaching, student loan debt, and saving for a wedding. I tried to make it work, and for a brief second it looked like it might, but then my logic came back and I realized BlogHer14, my wallet, and I just weren’t a good mix anymore. It just wasn’t our time.

I’ve kind of been feeling “over” BlogHer, or maybe just over my blog, but then two things happened: 1. I decided to partake in November’s NaBloPoMo, and 2. it was announced that BlogHer15 would be back in my backyard in NYC. I kind of feel like I’m (maybe) going back to an old relationship that I’m not entirely sure about. (It’s feeling like my college years! Ha.) I’m not sure if I’m the same blogger– or person– I was a year or two ago. It’s been more of an effort than a joy to be a sassy ginger. I’ve had more fun connecting with people in the wedding industry on GayBrideGuide. Heck, I don’t even know if I actually will make it to BlogHer15, although I can’t imagine knowing the conference is happening so closeby and being able to stay away.

BlogHer, I can’t quit you.