Last month I received an e-mail from the wonderful Sarah Bryden Brown, inviting me to the very first “Blogstar Sunday Supper”. I looked at the guest list and immediately had this thought:
Was this a mistake?
Followed by this:
What could I possibly have to say to all of these way more experienced and successful bloggers?
And finally, this:
What will I wear?
I actually asked Sarah if she meant to include me on the list (awkward). She was nice enough to say “yes” (love her), so I proceeded to focus on the women I was going to meet.
What a group! I had already established a little on-line rapport with Jill and Elizabeth, and was relieved that there would be at least a few people who were not complete strangers (I’m still getting used to having whole relationships with people I’ve never actually met!).
And there were several women whose sites I stalked read regularly:
The “Mighty” Maggie (I mean, I have her book).
Natalie, who writes one of my very favorite, must-read-it-every-day blogs.
Sharon, whose blog’s only fault is that it is not delivered daily.
Amber is one of the sharpest, funniest writers around – oh, and I learned that her day job is a SCIENTIST!
And Jenny, an interior designer who’s not only gorgeous and creative, but can wield a miter box and hand saw like nobody’s business.
There were also bloggers whose work I was just getting to know. Gretchen, Isabelle and Laura have between them, built successful web sites, created must-attend conferences, written best-selling books – hell – they’re entire BRANDS.
And then there was me. And my little blog.
The dinner was held at Pasanella and Son Vintners, a wine store in the South Street Seaport in New York City. I ran into Jill (who is just as nice as I imagined her to be) outside the store, so I didn’t have to walk in alone.
Sarah immediately greeted me with a big hug and made our introductions.
I may have gushed
a ton just a little – especially upon meeting Maggie and Natalie.
We drank prosecco, mingled for a bit, and were then seated for a series of wine tastings. The wines were accompanied by an assortment of cheeses, meats and breads from Murray’s Cheese and BKLYN Larder, and we finished with delicious hand pies baked by Elizabeth (who I sat with at dinner and got to know a bit better – what a warm, smart and sweet lady).
As I drove home I thought a lot about the evening, and how I tend to be somewhat shy and receding in new situations. I was definitely nervous, so I did what I typically do in these moments – listen quietly, pay attention and try to learn and absorb.
And I thought a lot about the “blogging” me – the one that obviously brought me to that dinner – versus the “real” me. Not that my writing is fake or fabricated, but I definitely get to ponder, assess and edit before I hit that “publish” button. I didn’t realize till just then that writing from the safety of my kitchen is a far cry from actually sitting with these women – these witty, articulate, outspoken and super smart women – and engaging face-to-face.
I really do need to work on my self-confidence, and learn to be okay with where I’m at with this little venture. Clearly, Sarah thought highly enough of me to include me in this group, and I am truly proud of how far my blog has come in this very short time. This was also a great “test run” for Alt Design Summit – a blogging conference that I plan to attend in January. By then I hope to have shored up that “blogging” self, and present it proudly – even if it’s the smallest blog in the room.
How about you? Whether or not you blog, do you have a different private self from the persona you present to the world? Do you prefer small groups, large gatherings or one-on-one? I would love to know that I’m not the only one out there who sometimes struggles……..
Oh, and what did I wear?
After much browsing on-line, multiple outfit changes, and consultations with my “stylist” (in between her college classes), I decided to wear a dress I already owned, and that all I really needed – as usual – was a great new pair of shoes.
Thank you Sarah!! xo