Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Pre-BlogHer '09 Jitters: You Hold Me/I'll Hold You

Ohholycrap.

Tomorrow morning at 4:30 a.m., the Palinode and I will leave our apartment for the airport, and from there we will go to Toronto, connect with a flight to Chicago, and take the El to the Sheraton where we will enter the world of BlogHer '09. I'm one nervous puppy, but it's a good nervous.

Last year was my first year at the conference, and this introvert knew that I couldn't treat it like regular life. I can be a bit of a recluse, so I decided that I would pretend to be a greeter at BlogHer '08. I know that that sounds kind of bizarre, but it worked. When I saw someone standing around looking as awkward as I felt, I walked up, read their nametag, and shook their hand. When I saw someone that I would have traded my housepets to meet, I walked up, read their nametag, and shook their hand. When I felt awkward standing around doing nothing, I walked up to someone, read their nametag, and shook their hand.

For three days, I dropped my usual hide-behind-a-ficus persona and greeted everyone I could get a hold of. A couple of people even asked if I had helped to organize the event. Did I feel like a weird, poser freak? No.

I had an AMAZING time.

I discovered an ability to engage and make friends and exceed my own expectations. I surprised myself. I blew my own mind. And yet, tonight, I am nervous.

I want to do everyone I met last year justice by remembering their names (both real life and weblog), what url they're attached to, and what face goes with either or both, but I know that I can't do that. There were a THOUSAND people there last year, and I was a thousand social butterflies.

So, I might need a reminder or two. You might have to get a little sarcastic. But, I will put two and two together. Or three and three. Or remind me about that moment when hotel security was moving down the hallway and we locked eyes and simultaneously shoved our cheeseburgers under sofa.

And, if you weren't at BlogHer last year, or this is your first year and we haven't met yet face-to-face, walk up, read my nametag, and shake my hand. You, me, and everyone we meet will make this year as amazing as the last.

And, I will still be nervous, because, in all likelihood, you're really cool, and I'll be honoured to me you (again).

So, here's an advance hello-and-how-are-you. Want to get a drink? AWESOME.

Grace in Small Things: Part 243 of 365

Grace in Small Things: Part 242 of 365