More Than Beignets & Bloody Marys

by Ginger on November 13, 2012

in Celebrations

I keep trying to figure out how to write about my weekend. I don’t really know how to explain what this weekend was for me, or what it meant TO me, and a straight recap just isn’t my style (I mean, come on, you guys are used to my rambling on and on by now), but it was just…amazing.

***

When I signed up for The Blathering, I did it as a gift to myself. This year has been a year of…retraining me to think of ME. To say, “It’s ok to get/have/do things just.because.you.want.them.” And I WANTED to go to The Blathering. I wanted to go meet those people and see that city and do that event. So I decided I would. I decided it was my gift to myself to say, yes, Ginger, you are allowed. Now go.

Funnily enough, my nerves weren’t as bad as I thought they would be. I had been lucky enough to meet some of the ladies before this event, and I had roommates lined up who, though we hadn’t met before, are women of my heart. I felt like, at the worst, I would have 5-6 people to talk to. And hey, if no one else liked me, I’d be in New Orleans and could eat and drink my troubles away. At the bare minimum, I was at least going on vacation!

***

A couple of days before I left, one of my roommates, one of the ladies that I so desperately *needed* to give a giant hug to in real life, had to cancel her trip. I literally sat in my bathroom and cried at not getting to “meet” her in person.

And here’s the thing: I think THAT is what The Blathering is really about. Not the crying, obviously, but the space in your heart that these people, ALL these people, own–some of them before, and some of them after. To the point of feeling a profound sense of loss when one of them can’t be there.

Look, New Orleans was fabulous. I can tell stories for days about the ins and outs of what I did, and ate, and drank, and listened to. But the city is just the window dressing. The real, REAL part of this event is the people. The people you want to meet because they’ve been a part of your life from across the country. The people you’re nervous to meet because you kind of idolize them. The people you had no idea you needed to meet but they’re so perfectly THEM that you can’t help but love them.

The saying of The Blathering is “Find Your People” and damnit if that isn’t exactly what I did.

***

I didn’t get to talk to everyone, not by a long shot. I think there are people who I never even got to say hello to, and that is my ONE regret from the weekend. There just wasn’t enough time to connect with everyone.

But the people I DID get to talk to? They made me laugh. They made me think. They were my “sure I’ll have another Bloody Mary” and “What’s one more beignet” enablers. They made me say, “Me too!” and “It’s not just you!” and “You said WHAT?” and “This is why I love you.” Ladies I’ve never met stayed up until 1 in the morning talking with me. A table full of women had me laughing so much my abs still hurt 3 days later. A group of women took me in when my flight was delayed, and folded me into their easy conversations like I had been there all along.

There was the occasional awkwardness that happens when a group of people who don’t know each other are in a space together (many of them introverts, come on, let’s be honest). There were moments of quiet from myself and from others that had all the hallmarks of someone who felt somewhat overwhelmed, or shy, or scared to walk up to someone new. But there wasn’t (from my vantage point) any unwillingness to talk to someone, or anyone looking over your shoulder for someone “more important.”

There WERE a bunch of women open to new friends. And I’m so thankful for that.

***

This weekend was an amazing gift. It was the vacation I needed, and the fun I didn’t realize I was missing. And it was the people who are my people.

 

Next year, The Blathering heads to Charleston, S.C. I am already plotting how to get myself there (and my friend who wasn’t able to come this weekend. Oh yes, it WILL happen), to enjoy another weekend with amazing women who I just *happened* to meet in my computer. You should come too, because 1)this is the MOST inclusive gathering I’ve ever been to and 2)a weekend away is good for the soul and 3)my goal now is to meet all my internet friends and make them just…friends.

Anne November 14, 2012 at 6:58 am

That sounds amazing, and I am so glad you went! I hadn’t heard about The Blathering before you posted about it, but now you’ve got me wanting to go next year! There is absolutely nothing better than giving an internet friend a real life hug.

Jennie November 14, 2012 at 8:26 am

I’ve always thought you have a special way with words but when you write about an event I’m a part of, YOUR WORDS MAKE ME TEAR UP, LADY.

(I hope you’ll be in Charleston, especially if you don’t make it to NYC.)

Ginger November 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Oh, I’m already plotting how to get myself there. It was just too much fun to not go again!

Jesabes November 14, 2012 at 10:30 am

It was so wonderful meeting you. I’m still bummed I didn’t get MORE time with you (stupid plane seat reservations).

Ginger November 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm

We’ll always have the Denver airport 😉 I wish we had had more time than that though…just not enough time in general I think!

Elizabeth November 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Ok, please come next year so we can hang out more, because I barely got to talk to you except to call you Ginger Ginger obnoxiously and I just FEEL that we are minutes away from being best friends. Also this was a lovely recap and I am so glad you had a good time.

Ginger November 19, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Next year’ll be OUR year 🙂 (and you can call me Ginger Ginger. But ONLY you)

Rebecca (Bearca) November 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Ginger, I was sad that I hardly got to talk to you at all! Guess that means we both need to go next year. Let’s make it happen!

Ginger November 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm

I know, I feel like we got maybe a couple of sentences here and there. We’ll have to fix that next year!

Emily November 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I don’t think I got to talk to you at ALL, which SUCKS. Thank you for such a beautiful wrap-up – this is exactly why the Blathering exists. The same thing happened to me on MY first one, and keeps happening over and over again. It gets addicting! Hope to see you (and maybe TALK TO YOU) in Charleston!

Ginger November 19, 2012 at 8:07 pm

It still kind of confounds me how many people I wasn’t able to talk to (until I actually think about the logistics of 60 people. Then I get it). Hopefully next year!

Jenna November 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm

So I’m pretty sure we didn’t meet at all while in New Orleans. I distinctly remember seeing you close by at one point and knowing who you were (from twitter and your blog) and yet I just couldn’t muster enough fake extroversion to say hi.

(SO. LAME.)

HI!

Maybe next year? Maybe?

Ginger November 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I did that same thing, so many times. Next year, hopefully, I’ll be able to walk up to more people, you included!

Maggie November 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm

So, uh, here’s another comment from someone totally bummed that they didn’t actually TALK to you. I think I got, like, thirty seconds? ALAS. This is why we immediately start thinking about the NEXT year.

I’m glad you had such a great time. 🙂

Ginger November 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm

I swear, I needed 6 days, not 3, to talk to everyone. NEXT YEAR is becoming my battle cry…

Hope November 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Awesome! You’re making me want to go next year. :p

Arwen November 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Ginger, I barely got to meet you this weekend, but I loved this recap. I’m so glad you found your people. I hope I get to talk to you more someday. (Next year!)

Ginger November 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I know, I think we got, like 3 minutes together. Maybe next year we’ll get more!

CharlieSue November 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Ginger, you were such a wonderful part of my weekend in Nola. You are so genuine and pretty and smart and I hope that we’ll keep in touch.(And see each other next year in SC, at least!) xo

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