You want to know what was crazy intense? BlogHer ’14. Not in the session jumping, swag hoarding, looking down so nobody has a clue I don’t know what I’m doing, frantically searching for familiar faces kind of way it has been in the past. No, I kind of nailed all those things this year—meaning I didn’t do a single one of them. (And, luckily, my kids didn’t even ask what I got for them because it would have been a whole lot of nothing.)
This year? Well, BlogHer had some really, really intense topics on the table. There were deep discussions of racial tension. Sexism. Post-partum depression. General depression. Abuse. Cancer. And grief. This was a group of bloggers that was outrageously passionate and willing to talk about the tough stuff. A lot.
In the span of 24 hours, my heart was pulled in a million different directions. My mind raced, not sure where to land on various issues. My mascara worked its ass off trying to stay put as the tears streamed down my face. And, by the end, I almost didn’t know if I had the energy to do one more thing. Even if it did involve free Happy Meals (thanks, McDonalds!).
Somehow, I found the strength to walk a couple blocks to the BlogHer closing party and, in no time, I was glad I had. (And not just because I got to drink sangria with my fries, though that certainly didn’t hurt.)
It had been announced that Rev Run (as in “Run” of Run–D.M.C.) would be lighting up the stage, so the crowd was anxiously awaiting his arrival. (Some of us even ate a third second cheeseburger in anticipation of the impending calorie burn.) While there’s pretty much no place I’d rather be at any given moment than on a dance floor, for once I wasn’t so sure. Suddenly, I found myself back in my junior-high head (heck, even my side-swiped bangs look a bit like they did when all the hairspray gave out back then…and it always did).
What if nobody danced? What if they did dance, but not with me? What if people laughed at my moves?
As soon as Rev Run appeared, all those worries went away. The crowd rushed the stage. And while he wasn’t doing much more than strategically bouncing, mixing, and shouting into the mic every few minutes, a sea of iPhones were held just so as each and every social media maven there tried to capture that perfectly Instagram-able shot of The Rev.
Finally, finally it was time for me to demonstrate to the blogging community what I’m truly passionate about: knowing the lyrics to every single song to hit the charts in the 80s and 90s.
As I looked around, my heart was full. Not because people weren’t laughing at my moves. (I can assure you they were. But I can also assure you, I’m old enough now not to care…too much.) No, my heart was full because everyone there was truly happy, and caught up in the thrill of the moment.
Music. It was truly the great equalizer.
As hundreds of bloggers sang about that sweet child o’ mine, being girls who just wanna have fun, and bustin’ a move, nobody was a category. There was no race, no religion, no creed, no geography, no niche, no age, no hierarchy, no stats, no struggle.
And in that moment, I realized it was the perfect ending to a powerful weekend. I couldn’t have been more proud to be a part of this huge, diverse blogging community. Because there we were united—smiling upon one another—living passionately, fully, and with everyone’s happiness on our hearts (and in our feet).
Bravo, BlogHer and Rev Run. I guess it really does take two to make a thing go right. At least for this PYT.
Please note: I did have another Rev Run-in that won’t soon be forgotten. It’s one of those pictures-speaking-a-thousand-words things though, so check it out on Instagram. You’re welcome.
Please also note: I wrote another post about getting crazy with the superstars of BlogHer ’14 (including Arianna Huffington and Kerry Washington) here.
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