It has taken me a week to find the time to write about my trip down to Atlanta for the very first Blogalicious conference for women bloggers (most of whom were of color). I've decided to break it down into several posts, because there's just so much to say.
1. Blogalicious Helped Me Face My Fears
The trip started when I took off in a loaner Equinox at 3:AM to pick up my very pregnant fellow DC-blogger Kim, who was my carpool partner for a Chevy-sponsored road-trip to the conference. For those of you who don't know this about me, let me express what a HUGE deal this was, because I DO NOT like to drive on highways. I am NOT a great driver. I was in two car accidents as a permit driver during my junior year in high school (one of which was my fault, the other of which I still have scars from as the wounded passenger), and then right before the school-year ended, my beloved aunt was killed in a car accident. I never took drivers' ed (it wasn't required, I knew I wasn't going to get a car, and I was too busy to care), and I didn't even bother to test for my license until the summer after my freshman year in college. Living in New York City for 13 years, I rarely drove, and whenever I did, it was at most, for one hour to relieve my husband, who has always done 98% of the long-distance driving.
This is all to say that driving to Blogalicious and back meant overcoming a phobia. It helped that we had a fully-equipped, brand-new car, OnStar, a leisurely stop at a Sonic drive in for shakes and burgers, and an iPod hookup to make the drive that much easier -- not to mention that Kim and I both love musical theater, so we spent the majority of the time listening to XM On Broadway singing along to showtunes. When we finally arrived at the W Hotel in Atlanta, I called my husband and said "I did it!," and he was quite proud (I think he was also massively . Of course, he also joked that I'll have to drive to the City the next time we go, but hey, now I know I can!
I'm sure it sounds a bit ridiculous to those who've driven cross-country since they were teenagers, but my fear of driving has been a very real issue. I have turned down countless invitation because I couldn't fathom driving a long way (as in more than 20 miles) by myself. I have caused my husband a great deal of aggravation, because I would snort and sniffle every time he suggested we switch off, so he could rest or work. So among the reasons I'll always remember this first Blogalicious weekend is that it's the first time I fully participated in a road-trip without depending on someone else to do all the driving. It's a big deal, and I'm grateful to Kim, Blogalicious, and Chevy, for helping me get past my fear and unleash my (timid) road warrior.
Oh, and after 22 hours in a car together, Kim and I learned that oversharing is a good way to keep a tired driver from getting too sleepy. Let's just say we'd each know exactly what to say to make the other drink in a friendly game of "I Never."