I had never been to a blogging event. And, while you might not know it if you met me, I'm not the most naturally outgoing person in the world. I have a history of forcing myself into the middle of a group of strangers (just ask my husband about that one), but while I think meeting new people is important, I don't find it easy.
The meetup wasn't easy.
But it was wonderful.
After I collected my name tag and dropped a scrap of paper with my name on it into the draw basket (yup, I was one of those without a business card. Definitely something to remedy for the next one!) I bee-lined it to the bar and grabbed a glass of wine. Just something to keep my hands busy. To calm my nerves. To give me purpose. I stepped away from the bar and made my way through the crowd of women, the crowd that was chattering so happily away, so easily, so naturally. For a moment, I stood by myself on the edge of the crowd and breathed.
This is crazy. I can't do this.
But I can't just stand here either. That's even worse.
So, I stepped forward, wiggled my way into the nearest group, introduced myself, asked questions, met a new blogger or two, gathered a business card or two, drank a glass of wine or two (or three), ate a mini burger and an oyster or two, had a fudge stick thing, listened to some speakers or four, waited for my name to be drawn for a prize (it wasn't), shifted from foot to foot in my brand new super-high heels, forced myself to step into a circle or two, introduced myself to some of my favourite fellow Canadian bloggers, met some superbly talented women (and a few men), grabbed a swag bag and left feeling much more relaxed, much more confident.
Did I enjoy it?
That's a hard question to answer. It's like asking me if I enjoy going to the gym that first time after not being to the gym in 6 months. It's hard. But I know that, while I'm there, I'll remember or learn why I enjoy it and I know that every time I go to another event, it will get easier as I get to know more and more of my blogging friends. I love that I got to meet each of the bloggers I came across there. I love the new conversations that the face-to-face nature of the meetup allowed us to start.
I'll certainly be at the next one with a little more confidence and the perfect business card.