Own it. Yes, you.

“I’ve never had a woman ask for a raise.” – Donny Deutsch, on MSNBC

“Uh, that’s not exactly true…but point taken.” -Me having worked at Deutsch

katherine stone's arm

Katherine Stone’s sleeve, according to her friends and fans.
And psst…thanks to Olympus which is letting me test out the Pen Lite E-PL3 for review. I’m still working on the indoor settings as you can tell.

One of the first things you learn in school when you’re writing ad copy is to ask for the order. “Act now!” “Call this number.” “Get yours today.” And yet if you think about women in general, that seems to be one of the hardest things to do: to know our worth. To be confident in what we do. To believe in ourselves.

To say Pay me, dammit.

But believing in ourselves and knowing our worth goes far beyond money. I saw it play out in full force this weekend.

This year I had the great pleasure to start the Blogher Conference by leading an all-day workshop on blogs as businesses along with Susan Getgood and Lauren Marie Fleming. (Let me tell you, presenting with these two women seriously keeps you on your game. Whoa.) We spent a lot of time talking about how important it is to describe your blog pretty much any way besides, well, I just kinda write a little…whatever…it’s just a blog, ya know…about stuff…no one reads it…and uh…it’s not really important.

We also talked about the value of our time and effort, and Susan had a great line: Don’t work anywhere for free where you’d like to get paid later.

I’d say with few exceptions, that’s fairly accurate.

I left the workshop so inspired by the women in our group, seeing their confidence and enthusiasm and excitement about all the potential in their work and their lives. As I saw them hustle out the door to catch President Obama’s address which kicked off the conference (!!), I remember thinking they’re owning it.

Interestingly, it seemed like the recurring theme of the entire weekend as I saw it.

I felt it in the Voices of the Year readings which were as perfectly curated as any previous year. Not a single woman seemed nervous or anxious or wiggly. Not Dresden Shumaker who had the room in tears writing about overcoming the Welfare Queen label. Not Suzanne Barston who spectacularly described why supporting formula feeders is a feminist issue without pulling punches. Not Arnebya Hernon who tackled racism and Travyon Martin’s shooting from a Black mother’s painful perspective. Not  Shari Simpson who brought the house down with a hilarious (really) story about a desperate search for sanitary items at a party at Tori Spelling’s mansion.

They owned their words, their presence, their stories, their ideas. Spectacularly.

It was something I had to do myself when I hosted a luncheon for Zarbees (like, the best product/sponsor/parent’s lifesaver ever) and found out that I was going to interview someone I had admired for ages. Interviewing famous people publicly isn’t something that comes as naturally to me as say, writing blog posts or feeding my kids cereal for dinner. But I’m learning that each new challenge I take on helps to convince me I’m ready for the next one.

liz gumbinner and kristin davis

Kristin Davis – lovely inside and out.

My role models this weekend included women who got to where they are because they were never afraid to go for it. Katie Couric brought the house down with her keynote; I was so happy seeing a major public figure unafraid to address the “women doing it all question” with a statement like “Brian Williams never gets asked that.” Or to take on the mommy wars essentially by telling the media to STFU. In fact, I’m in love with the fact that she’s attempting to go smart with her new daytime show, and not dumb it down with paternity test surprises and reality show gossip.

I can safely say I’m not the only one rooting for it to work.

We can also learn from Martha Stewart (whose keynote I was so sad to miss), who answered the question “is there anything you’re not good at?” with, “Well, I suppose there are some things I haven’t yet tried.”

But you know, you don’t have to be a superstar to have confidence in your thoughts, your words, your selves.

Which is why event that I think was the highlight of the weekend for anyone who was there, was the Saturday Night Blogher Fashion show – more than a dozen gorgeous, fearless (mostly) women of every shape and size, walking the runway with the biggest smiles on their faces you’ve ever seen.

blogher 2012 fashion show

As they hit their marks at the front of the runway, all gorgeous hips and fierce shiny lips and waves to the crowd–a longtime male friend of the single variety who was sitting with me kept saying, “wow, look at that confidence– that’s sexy.”

He wasn’t talking about size fours.

Kathryn Finney? You can style me in clothes from 6PM any time.

blogher 2012 fashion show

Laurita Tellado

blogher 2012 fashion show

Christine Koh

blogher 2012 fashion show

Claire Sulmers

blogher 2012 fashion show

Maria Niles

blogher 2012 fashion show

My hero, Erin Koteki Vest

You want to know about owning it? Talk to Erin Vest, who emerged from two years of steroids and wheelchairs and Lupus and self-doubt to rock our fucking socks off. And then, at the end of her walk she turned, back to the audience, brushed who knows what invisible demons off her shoulder, and strutted off–all smiles.

You’re not “just a stay at home mom.”

You’re not “just a blogger.”

You’re not “just a wife.”

You’re not “just a writer.”

You’re not “just a size 16.”

You’re not “just a woman.”

You’re not “just someone with dreams.”

You are someone who matters to someone. But most of all, I hope you matter to yourself.

{96 Comments}

96 thoughts on “Own it. Yes, you.”

  1. Damn. You made me cry in my office for a real reason other than I don’t feel like being here today.
    Thanks for this post. Was great seeing you again. xo
    Loukia recently posted..SevenMy Profile

  2. This post is fabulous, but I have to say that photo of Christine has my jaw to the floor. So gorgeous. Wish I could have been there!

    (And I definitely struggle with knowing my worth- not when it comes to money because I think I have a good handle on that- it’s the other things in life. I’m working on it.)

    Steph
    Stephanie Precourt recently posted..August FOURMy Profile

  3. This is a post that’s as awesome as you are. But the hardest part of all this is actually finding the confidence you talk about. I try and try. And in some realms I have it. But others are elusive — especially looks and body image.
    I think the important part is to carry on with confidence despite what you may be feeling. Then people believe you – and it becomes true.

    You, Liz, are an inspiration. Beautiful writing, successful career, lovely family. And just the right mix of confidence and humility to make us all not hate you for it!!!

    note: I was about to take out that last jokey sentence, but decided to leave it in to make an observation: we all do that. Say “you’re so beautiful. I hate that.” We shouldn’t. We should stop at the compliment. There’s no shame in being fabulous. And joking about how jealous we are about it (like I just did), just demeans both the subject of the joke, and the joke maker.
    So I’ll leave it at this: You, Liz, are fabulous.
    Nancy recently posted..Spam Reaches New Level of Incomprehensibility!My Profile

    1. Well I can’t hold it against you since I said nearly the same thing to Nicole Feliciano this week. But you’re right – and I think when we feel good about ourselves, we can more easily feel good about others. Which says to me that despite some of your more elusive realms, you’re doing okay mama.

      So glad to see you this weekend.

  4. Liz! I was not able to be at Blogher this year because it was my daughter’s first summer away at camp and Blogher fell on the same weekend as Alumni Weekend at camp ~ no contest, I was where I needed to be. I’ve been selectively reading recap posts, saving myself for the ones that would share the inspiration of the women and the weekend. I knew that yours would be that for me. See you in Chicago (but hopefully sooner).

  5. Well you know me…I’m no shrinking violet (online). As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had less and less trouble saying what I see (even calling out the same women’s blogging site for speaking out of both sides of their mouth at times, lately over their advertising partners) –

    But that’s not always what sells or what The Community embraces. I think there are a lot of voices out there saying unpopular things – or have strong, rational opinions that aren’t the talking points of the day – and I’m hoping what happens is that women not only have confidence that their words are important even if they aren’t selling ads or making money off their work. I’m hoping that The Community (if it exists) continues to search them out and hold them up – promote within – so that as women’s blogging voices are validated beyond urban and internet center points (I’m in the deep small-town suburbs where no one knows who Dooce, Pioneer Woman, or The Bloggess are, and still think that anyone who blogs is taking up the hobby of naked men tapping out words in their basements)

    so that as blogging is validated as journalism or literature, that ALL voices benefit from that, not just, say, mommyblogging or political blogging or cooking blogging (this seeming trinity right now.)

    This is a great post, Liz, and I agree that you don’t need to be a superstar to have confidence in your words. But let’s be honest – it helps. Audience validates. Recognition validates. Confidence comes from success as well as from just pure belief. I understand this is a two-way street: no one is going to hand you anything for free. And I don’t know whose responsibility it is to make sure that women’s blogging doesn’t become MommyPoliticsCooking blogging, with everyone else an also ran (I sat in on a session that discussed just this.)

    Maybe I just feel anxious right now because the current best selling book -Fifty Shades of Grey – was “voted on” by the public, and now there’s going to be a whole lot more of that. I’d like to think publishers will take that money and invest in new, niche writers, but that’s yet to be seen. Until *all* women gain the validation from within and without to continue to be confident, I think we need to go out of our way to support and promote each other, knowing that we still depend on each other for some confidence.

    1. We absolutely depend on each other for confidence. Hands down no question. But it’s chicken and egg, right? If you don’t have confidence in the first place, if you don’t believe in yourself, you’re not going to get as far. You can’t wait for it to come with success. This goes beyond blogging by the way–which is why I opened with a quote that’s about another industry entirely.

      I also think that while there’s some overlap, speaking your mind about whatever you want isn’t the same as being confident in a way that will bring you success. But..different post for a different day. As is the 50 Shades thing which I still refuse to read.

      Thanks as always Josette. I’m truly sorry we didn’t get to hang out this weekend. I would have braved smelly calamari for you.

  6. Love this post, so thank you for that. I was struck at Blogher by how many women said they started their blog “just because…” and then followed up with a little giggle. Whereas most of the men I heard talk about their blogs said things like “I researched for several months…” I’m speaking in generalizations here, I know, but I do think that part of “owning it” is saying “I thought I had something to say and wanted a forum to say it,” rather than “gosh, just wanted to share a few snapshots of the kiddos…” (even if that’s true). Instead say “my kids are the funniest damn things EVER and the world needed to know that.” You may have coined next year’s t-shirt: BlogHer 13: OWN IT
    deborah l quinn recently posted..Listicles: NOISES OFFMy Profile

  7. beautiful post! thank you for it! i was told by a fellow blogger that i am too self-deprecating and i realized that she was right and that is right in line with what you are saying. i need to OWN it and love what i do and be proud of you. thank you for this post!!!
    Ali recently posted..The ConfessionalMy Profile

  8. What a great post. My mother is an artist and has always told me not to give away your work. Put a value on it, even if largely symbolic, and others will, too. (I’m not sure what that means for posting a blog on a site that doesn’t pay, but that can also be seen as marketing, right? At least I hope so!)
    I was a first-time at Blogher this year; went warily, left fully on board, inspired and committed – and with some new friends. To quote my late mother-in-law, what’s not to like?
    Karen recently posted..You want me where?My Profile

    1. One of the things we talked about in our panel is considering your goals. If you want to be a writer, then you blog is giving you a platform to write, to connect, to promote, to hone your skills. It’s conceivable that it will lead to paid writing jobs. Don’t imagine that ads on blogs are the only way to make a living.

      So glad you had a great time as a first timer.

  9. This is one of the reasons I love BlogHer (and was sad to miss it this year) – so many amazing women in their element, feeling great about themselves!

    But it’s also one of the reasons I skipped BlogHer in favor of a race. Who would have ever thought me capable of doing what I did Sunday? Me, that’s who. And that was the first step toward making it happen, long before I ever put on my swim cap or running shoes. The same goes for any endeavor – writing well, working the runway, or interviewing Kristin Davis (!!!).
    Julie Marsh recently posted..Two days and a wakeup. An abominably early wakeup.My Profile

  10. I’m working on, bit by bit, every day, this owning it. Finding the time to work out, to write, to raise my children, to love my husband, to advance at work and to be a good friend. I didn’t go to BlogHer this year, but I really hope to go next year and have a full year of work on that confidence on display.
    Cheryl recently posted..AffinityMy Profile

        1. What???

          You say that, but I met you for the first time and I thought you were strong and cool and totally non-flustered at all.

          Total objective outsider’s opinion. Just sayin’.

  11. Your post transcends gender. Especially the part about the fashion show as you described women who exemplified the strength of the human spirit. Confidence in oneself can be elusive for so many reasons. Being a parent certainly does not increase one’s confidence either, if anything it challenges our fortitude. I like your theme of “owning it.” For many, yours truly included, we keep reliving the past, going over our choices, trying to rewrite history in our minds rather than facing the present and shaping the future. Thanks for the inspiration Liz. You’re a strong woman, and a wonderful human being.
    Vincent | @CuteMonsterDad recently posted..How To Train Your Dragon Live SpectacularMy Profile

    1. Thank you Vincent. I agree, it’s not just a woman thing. But we women do care a little more about what people think about us than what we think of ourselves. I’m working on it too.

  12. Wow, great post. I’m seriously choked up. I’ve quit teaching and am writing full time now and it’s been really weird to tell people I’m a writer and equally weird to hear their responses, which are mostly, “Oh! Fun! I would love to do that!” I don’t have a response formulated yet. I think I would scare them if I said, “Reallly? Because I’m worried about getting a concussion from pounding my head on the keyboard.” That would probably be scary. It is hard as hell to get out of the box and do something that you’re really passionate about. I’m so inspired by these awesome women.

  13. I never seriously considered attending a blogging conference because I think of blogging as something I do, but not the main things I do. But your description of Blogher sounds like it would be inspiring on many levels and well worth the expense and effort to attend. Next year I will try to go!
    Korinthia Klein recently posted..My Two Cents on GunsMy Profile

    1. I wrote last year that you get out of it what you put into it. You can spend your time on the business track, or on the writing track in search of inspiration and kindred spirit. It really is what you want it to be. Hope to see you there!

    1. Thank YOU for the story I can’t stop paraphrasing. Now that I’ve found the link I’ll just send people there because I’m definitely not doing it justice.

  14. As always, I agree with everything you’ve said. As we stressed repeatedly in our panel, it’s not just about pricing and valuing your services — it’s about pricing and valuing YOURSELF. I think we’re slowly but surely starting to understand that. Thanks for helping spread the message.

  15. It is with your continuing encouragement that I constantly re-evalaute my worth and why I blog and why I can or cannot work with brands….

    I find myself somewhere in the middle of it all and find that I can combine the business and the writing when I feel it is a worthwhile endeavor that also values my worth – does that make sense?

    I totally get the blog as a vehicle t establish credibility – I wrote for a long time before getting several freelance assignments YET I constantly try to not lose sight of the fact that writing for yourself to establish yourself is not working for free…it is when you do it for somebody else.
    Rachel, BacknGrooveMom recently posted..Blogher ’12 …stolen moments with my favorites and hand held electronicsMy Profile

    1. Value comes in all sorts of ways – every comment here makes a post worthwhile. It doesn’t always have to be about money.

      But as I’ve said before, even when I got 3 comments a post (on a good day) it was worth it. So great to see you Rachel!

  16. I am so happy I finally got to have a proper chat and connection with you this weekend in er! Owning it, especially when your peers can support you in that, is the only way this sector has a chance. The great, from the heart writing that was the genesis of this space has to be the focus. The rest really is drawn from that well.
    Chrysula recently posted..Can Anyone Help Save My Child?My Profile

    1. I agree completely Chrysula -loved getting to meet you too. I think of the Shot @ Life relay and how brilliant it is in every way – it’s all heartfelt writing, promotion of our peers, support of the bloggers and commenters we love, and putting our collective efforts towards a cause.

      How can we not emerge from this feeling anything but awesome? Thanks for your part in all of it.

  17. Due in no small part to support of many fabulous women I know and have I’ve met online, I’ve begun embracing the idea of “why not me?” I have a laundry list of things I wished I had tried and to be honest, I got tired of seeing it get longer. I decided, I’d rather go down in flames trying than have to look back with regret. I’ve had my failures. My ego has the bumps and bruises to show for it, but I’m finding it easier and easier to dust my self off and try again. When the thought of taking something new on scares me the most is when I KNOW I need to kick myself in the butt and make myself try it out.
    Alyssa S recently posted..So we went to see The Lion KingMy Profile

  18. You took the words right out of my mouth with this post.

    As a lifelong feminist and bigmouth, I still find myself apologizing to inanimate objects and at times acting more humbly than I even feel. I hate to admit it, but in some ways I think I may be hardwired with these traits.

    On an unrelated note, I was totally staring at you before the closing keynote at Blogher last weekend, thinking “How do I know this woman?” Obviously, I have been reading your blog for some time now, but I never connected your face with it before. I live in Fort Greene, and I’m pretty sure I’ve waited on you at the restaurant where I work a million times. I wanted to come and properly introduce myself – but I had to skip out early to tend to a sick child. What a small world we live in.
    Guerrilla Mom recently posted..Bloomberg cares about babies and boobs.My Profile

  19. This post, your attitude, this is what BlogHer is for me. This is why it is so important for me to cultivate these relationships, attend these events, to read blogs.

    All of it is a constant reminder to myself to OWN IT. Do better. Be better. Try harder. Be MORE.

    My only regret this conference? My limited face time with you. I’m just glad I was able to grab a hug when I could.
    Redneck Mommy recently posted..BlogHer TarmacMy Profile

  20. Wow. The fact that I got name-checked in this post just made the hundreds of dollars I spent on the conference well worth it. Thank you, Liz… And for the record, getting a “good job” from you after VOTY helped me “own it” in a major way.

    I think we all need validation of some sort, whether it come in the form of Google analytics reports, nice comments on a post, blog “awards”, or getting a nod and smile from an admired peer. But what I like about BlogHer is that we can put all that aside for a minute and focus on the fact that we are really just trying to be HEARD. Blogging is about putting your voice into the world, and it’s nice to be around other people with the same internal need for an audience. Makes us feel less like freaks. ;)

    Hope to get a chance to hang out with you in Chicago next year!
    FearlessFormulaFeeder recently posted..The requisite post-BlogHer post, wherein I debate whether or not I qualify as a "blogger"My Profile

  21. This post is so fantastic. Like, eyes-watering, soul-pulsing, fierceness-inducing fantastic. Thank you.

    You were someone who I really wanted to meet this weekend, but unfortunately, didn’t.

    Hopefully, I will bump into in Brooklyn some time. It would be really wonderful to connect more with my fellow NYC/Brooklyn bloggers. :)

    If not, Chicago!
    RealMommyChron recently posted..4,000 Horny Camels?My Profile

  22. Read this and couldn’t help thinking about the woman working at the pool this morning who asked my mother: “Oh! Chicago, what does your daughter do?”
    My mother’s answer: “She’s a mother and a blogger.”
    The lady’s response: “What’s that?”
    My mother tried to explain and when the woman finally asked “Can she make any money doing that?”
    And my mother, without missing a beat said: “You have NO IDEA!”
    and then walked in the pool.

    Your post and my mother’s interaction this morning reminded me that validation comes from some great and small places. Just my mother validating my efforts and responding to the woman that way was life affirming. Come to think of it, so was BlogHer12.

    1. I just say “online journalist” when people in elevators at conferences ask what we do. Shorthand.

      Your mom sounds awesome!

  23. I love this post so much, Liz. I made two of the offenses you mentioned A LOT this weekend. “Just a stay stay-at-home mom” as well as “my blog is just so new, you know…I just write, I don’t have a lot of readers yet.”

    But you’re right. Why would anyone want to read it if I don’t show confidence in it myself?

    Your guidance meant the world to me and I feel so grateful to have had a women who so flawlessly owns it and exudes confidence herself take me under her wing. You rock!

    And I’m so bummed to have missed the fashion show! Next year for sure!

  24. I was so pleased to finally have the chance to say hello to you in real life Saturday night instead of just on Twitter. I’m even more pleased to read this post today – I’ve seen so many negative posts the past two days that I was starting to wonder if I was in the same conference…

    I left BlogHer so inspired – to be a better writer, to go out on a limb more often, and to just be more ME. I also made some really kick-ass new friends. I’m just really glad I took the chance and went.
    Jenny G recently posted..The one about breastfeedingMy Profile

    1. And funny enough, I’ve hardly seen any negative posts. What’s that about? We need to trade feed lists, ha. Great to meet you too Jenny.

        1. I’ve seen a few whiny posts since then. Also made me feel sad. I wrote last year that You Get What You Give, and I still stand by it.

          It’s not unlikely that 5,000 women will all experience the same event in a different way. But when I hear everything from “wow, I feel so much more inspired to write better” to “clearly writing is DEAD” I think…uh….

  25. Liz, when I saw you this weekend at the Mighty party I introduced myself to you and you said “I know who you are. We’ve met before.”
    I could’ve sunk into the Earth in that moment because I knew I sounded like one of those snobby women who pretend not to remember a person, but honestly I just assumed that someone like you wouldn’t remember someone like me.
    I constantly sell myself short and I know I do myself and women in general a disservice. Thanks for this post. It is such an eloquent reminder that we all have worth.

    1. Oh don’t even worry for a second. Do you know how many times I introduced myself to people I’ve known for years this week? D’oh. I wish people would just tell you when they’re going to suddenly go blonde out of nowhere. Nice to see you…again. :)

  26. I’m sorry I missed you last weekend! That was my sister (@FourthBreakfast) who tweeted the question for Martha about what she wasn’t good at. :) We had a great time too.
    Lady M recently posted..My PreciousssssMy Profile

    1. So the cleverness runs in the family. sorry I missed you too. I still have the cute kawaii cell phone guy that you gave me at Blogher 5 year ago.

  27. Thank you. The timing and spirit of this post could not have been more perfect. I just filled out my first job application in 12 years! I was scared and doubtful the whole time…I kept looking for reasons to stop. Hell, I found thousands of excuses over the past week not to start the process until my husband called me out at 11pm tonight (I’m crazy defiant like that). The truth is that sometimes I am not sure I’m even relevant to the world 12 years and four sons later. That’s so sad. But, the truth is also that I know I’m valuable and I am making a slow transition out of a majorly child-centered existence. I am about to begin my second year of grad school and I NEED to get myself out there. So, I did it. Now, I WILL let go of any self doubt, and I will interview with SO much more confidence just because I read your words. I may need to read them a few more times, though ;) So, again, thank you.

    1. Wish you tons of of luck Tawnya. I know that’s a tough transition.

      Best advice ever from a recruiter: You may get a lot of no’s, but that’s okay. It only takes one yes.

  28. Thanks for this. I can really relate to this and am totally guilty of the self-deprecation that you describe in some women. When my son was born, I quit my engineering job (not very high powered but very technical and definitely sounded impressive to others, and I enjoyed it) to stay home with him. I stayed home for about a year and then found a part time job, not in my field, that paid a lot less and was much less technical – I just wanted something to keep my brain functioning, get me out of the house, and cover daycare costs and leave me with some latte money. It does that plus a little more. I’m not on a career track or anything, and whenever anyone asks what I do, it’s hard to describe. My husband always tells me that I sell myself short in those situations and that I sound like more of a secretary than I really am (I do some admin type work but that’s certainly not all I do). I am going to work on saying these things with more confidence from now on because you’re right, we’re not “just” anything!

  29. Great post BlogHer post (and I am not just saying that because you mentioned me)

    {OMFG YOU TOTALLY MENTIONED ME!!!!}

    It was wonderful to meet you and I felt inspired by so many women that really put themselves out there this year.
    Dresden recently posted..No more singalongsMy Profile

    1. Are you kidding me? Your reading was a highlight of the conference for me. And not just me. So great to meet you too and congrats coming out on the other end of a trying journey.

  30. I think this is the BEST post you’ve ever written. It truly hit home. As a 36-year-old Mormon mom of 5, I don’t think that our lives could be much more different. But at moments like this you (I really mean, I) realize that as women we have much more in common than not and we should constantly rally around each other in positive ways.

    We need to give each other a universal nod of approval that says, “You go, girl.”
    Jenna recently posted..The Backstory: Part IMy Profile

  31. Thanks for making me cry, Jerk! ;p Seriously, though, great post. It’s so easy to sell ourselves short. I know when people in real life compliment me on my blog I get oddly bashful, like I’m somehow undeserving of the praise because I’m “just a mom who stays home and writes on the internet.” That’s not true, though. I am a part of a growing community of amazing people who are smart and funny, and who help each other be better. That’s an awesome gift, and this is a great reminder that I should take some pride in being a part of it all.
    Ashley Austrew recently posted..BuildingMy Profile

  32. I loved this! Especially about “learning that each new challenge I take on helps to convince me I’m ready for the next one.” I couldn’t agree more.

    Also, I meant to introduce myself and say hi at the Mouthy party but kept getting distracted by all the cupcakes and photobooth fun. Next time!
    Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac recently posted..VoicesMy Profile

  33. I agree that the fashion show was a highlight! I took a bunch of pictures and while I was editing them yesterday I was so moved with how much power and pride there was. Those women were amazing! I put a bunch of images on Flickr and I’ll post the link ro send it to you if you want.
    Leslie recently posted.."Happier at Home" Book Party & GiveawayMy Profile

          1. Yes! That was such an awesome way to start the fashion show and when she got up and WALKED the runway I was so in awe. I have to admit, I did not even visit the EXPO or collect one swag bag except for the official BlogHer bag. That part of the conferences has always made me a little uncomfortable. I wrote more about the fashion show here: http://www.lightsandletters.com/writing/2012/8/14/power-pride-and-inclusivity-at-blogher-2012.html
            Leslie recently posted..Power, Pride and Inclusivity at BlogHer 2012My Profile

            1. I ate some yogurt, which was great. I had a little coffeemate in my coffee. But I mostly loved adding my post-it to the American Cancer Society More Birthdays Wall for Susan Niebur. That in particular made the Expo hall worth it for me.

              How was the Blogher bag? I forgot to get one.

  34. This post was so inspiring! Thanks for the kick in the ass. I have been spinning for years, not knowing what I really want to do and describing my blog in precisely the ways you mentioned. I think things are starting to become clearer… Thanks for reminding me to be my own biggest fan.
    HomeValley recently posted..This Is You Drill Bit.My Profile

  35. I am so thrilled I got to see you, however briefly, and get a shot of your owning it radiance (which I see is on full wattage display with Kristin Davis). Thank you for including me in this post – I am honored, just as I was to be included with that amazing group of women in the fashion show.

    You consistently blow me away with your brilliant writing. And, this right here… “You are someone who matters to someone. But most of all, I hope you matter to yourself.” All I can say is thank you. Along with “own it” these are my new mantras.

    1. Maria, you inspire me all the time. It was such a delight and surprise to see you all flowy and gorgeous on that runway. Hope it was a highlight of your life.

  36. I have been using Martha’s line all week: I want it on a T shirt.

    Seriously, the negative posts I’ve seen leave me baffled: were they at the same conference? Do people as adults still blame others for having a bad time? Does one person ignoring you or one clique shutting you out determine your entire BlogHer experience?

    Because it doesn’t to me. There are FAR more things that I come home with from BlogHer than just who ignored me.

    I get to see the people who have made a difference in my life. We all need to check our expectations: it’s what we decide to remember from our conferences that determine what feelings we come home with.

    I come home having seen the women who pull me through on my hard days, who inspire me to work harder on my goals, who show me the way of the trail they’ve blazed for me.

    No other place can offer me all this, at one time.

    How Elisa, Jory, and Lisa do all of this, I don’t know. I am grateful for everyone who plans and works 24/7 to bring us the BlogHer experience.

    GRATEFUL.

    1. Alexandra, thank you thank you. I’ve been saying the same thing for years now: You get what you give. I’m always amazed by women who devote an entire 3 or 4 days to a conference and the first thing they want to write about when they get home is how some junior PR flack didn’t treat them like goddesses on the expo floor. Or how they got shut out of one party. Hmph.

      Personally I was very clear on why I was there, when it was time to learn and when it was time time to teach, and where to devote my time.

      I also wasn’t above sneaking in a nap on Saturday. HUGE help.

      Glad you had a terrific time and found inspiration. I felt the same way.

  37. I love this post. :-) Especially Katie Couric’s response to the Do It All question. If I get asked that one more time . . .

    But also. I love how you said we all matter to someone. I hate to see women undervaluing themselves.

    A friend died this week. She just lived a quiet life, went to work, mothered her children, loved her spouse. She wasn’t “just” anything. She definitely mattered to someone. A lot of someones. I hope she knew how much she mattered. I hope we all do.

  38. Loved your take on Martha’s line. I mentioned it on my blog about how my “What are you terrible at” question has taken on a life of its own:
    http://www.fourthbreakfast.com/2012/08/the-martha-question-has-legs-and-ipad.html

    I was a panelist this year at BlogHer and we were talking about vulnerability and how blogs can help people get through tough times. I mentioned that even without reading your blog that you gave me hope with your tagline: “I don’t know what I’m doing either”
    Fourth Breakfast recently posted..The Martha Question Has Legs! And the iPad App videoMy Profile

  39. I’m reading this a million years later because i’m just behind on everything, but that list at the end? Totally choked up.

    If you make it next year, I will hold my pee to meet you and probably burst into fan girl tears. Forewarned.
    Tabatha recently posted..The Epic Oversharing Debate.My Profile

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