That first night at Blogalicious I didn’t sleep much. It was my first time at a conference and I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I was up bright and early at 7. The conference started with breakfast at 8:30 AM with a keynote by Jesse James of U-Ology 101 a smiley 29 year old that seems to have quite a few answers about doing what you love. Jesse spoke passionately about his new job where he was in charge of a lot of things (I don’t recall the exact titles but it was a lot of responsibility). He then told us that he could do all this because he was working for his own company. That’s when something went click, and this was my take away from this session – he was looking at all his responsibilities as something chevere. I know myself and I would probably complain about having to do it all, of all the things I need to do, of not having time to even breath! Seeing this different point of view and attitude was very interesting to me.
Later that morning little cupcakes appeared on the tables as the American Cancer Society made a moving presentation about the More Birthdays Campaign. Susan Niebur of Toddler Planer took the stage and touched every single one of us listening to her with her moving story. I had to fight tears back as I thought about my mom’s fight with breast cancer and thanked God, the Universe, and life for her letting her win and keeping her Cancer free. All that came out of me as the room around me joined in the Happy Birthday song was a whisper.
But that wasn’t the only thing that kept my Mom present in my thoughts. In the afternoon I attended the Philanthropy session where the United Nations Foundation Shot@Life campaign was introduced. I grew up watching my mother run out early on Saturdays because there were vaccination campaigns. I think I even went to a couple when we lived in Dominican Republic – must have been about 9 or 10. I tell you, that UNICEF upbringing runs deep in the blood.
After the sessions were over I headed to the Sears/Kmart Winter Wonderland party where I had the pleasure of hanging out with Oriana from Mommyhood’s Diary and her gorgeous baby Matthew. We made a stop at the Wine Sisterhood suite for a glass of red and some cheese. (I was the only one eating the cheese! What?!?!). With a little cheese in my system I ran back down to the McDonald’s party where I found everyone dancing it baby. (Here’s another secret – we bloggers CAN dance!). And even though I wanted to keep on dancing – the night was young and Johnson’s and Johnson’s was calling with a delightful cocktail hosted by none other than Rory of Mamá Contemporanea. It was there that I had the pleasure of hanging out with the lovely Ezzy a true beauty inside & out, Brenda and Dania. She introduced me to Jenda Lynne and Ruby.
The night ended with the UbiSoft Jam where with Dania, Jenda Lynne and Ana RC I was part of the Virgin Wives. We lost miserably!
As soon as we got back to the room I asked Dariela to put on the ear plugs! What a sweetheart.
Saturday is a whirlwind. I only know I was really happy I got to know The Latina Bloggers Connect team: Ana, Rachel, and Tracy better. It was also amazing to get to chat with Roxana / Spanglish Baby, Divina / Dancing Hotdogs, Maura / The Other Side of the Tortilla, Angelica / New Latina, Lisa / New York Chica and the lovely Yoly / Cuponeando.
So when on Sunday morning I felt that turbulence and I smiled – it all made sense. I had been to my first conference, met amazing people, had the best roommates, danced the nights away, had meaningful conversations, discovered new blogs, connected with writers I follow and allowed myself to reinvent myself if only a little. Confidence like turbulence can arrive when least expected, just relax, smile and enjoy the ride.
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What’s a Guayoyo?
= n. In Venezuela a slightly watered down black coffee. Commonly served after meals and a great companion to conversations.
Go Pink, Have a Guayoyo