03 August 2012

Things That Are True - Enjoying the Quiet

It is Friday, and I am in New York.

The view from here

The bright lights of Times Square, a few blocks away through my window on the 43rd floor, wink in my peripheral vision, trying to lure me out of my self-made hotel room cocoon.

I'm tired. I'd be sleeping now but I'm zipped into a dress I can't get out of without help. The biggest party of the whole BlogHer conference is happening forty floors below me, and I am blissfully alone. The hum of the city, punctuated with an occasional and faraway burst of taxi horns and sirens, is familiar, comforting.

I'm finally learning to listen to my body, and tonight it said, "Stay in. Be alone. Enjoy the still. Revel in the quiet." It seems counter-intuitive to seek quiet in the city that never sleeps, but instead of forcing myself to be out, enjoying the bright lights big city, pushing through to the other side by sheer force of will, I'm heeding my body's message.

This conference is big, and joyful, and loud, and as Deb on the Rocks said at the Queerosphere party last night, "BlogHer's a marathon." That it is. An unapologetic, exuberant, boisterous gathering of the tribes. There are moments of true connection; interstitial moments, between sessions, in hallways, in the Serenity Suite, but it's also quick hugs, a smile and a wave in passing, and a whirlwind of learning and lineups and trying not to be left behind.

Tonight I am still, and I am content. For a person whose brain never stops whirring, who spends more nights sleepless than somnolent, who constantly has to clarify and classify all the things, to be still is a minor victory.

And tomorrow is another day.

02 August 2012

Things That Are True - Snapshots from a Thursday

In the elevator, off on my quest to prove that red Chucks go with everything.

I've worked on so many film sets that were dressed to look exactly like this. A bit surreal to be in the real thing.

Washington Square Park on a hot day.

Sidewalk art in the Village.

Modern architecture from the High Line.

A remix (?) of a classic image.

Empire State Building, American flag.

Looking straight up while waiting at the registration desk for BlogHer.

And then this happened. And then I died dead.

Yes, Barack Obama spoke to a room full of bloggers today. We are the media. Booyah.

01 August 2012

Things That Are True - List the Fifth. And BlogHer.

I keep sending iphone photos like this via text message to HWSNBN (who is stuck at home, working) with witty captions like, "Hey, the Chrysler Building! No big deal."

Despite my assertions that I am really only here on his behalf to do some advance scouting for his two-years-away milestone birthday trip to New York, he remains unimpressed. He simply doesn't recognize what a giver I am, taking time out of my busy work and child-rearing schedule to research the best restaurants in New York. For him. It's all for him.

Oh, that little conference I'm going to? The one where I meet new friends and share long hugs and earnest conversations with some of the people I admire most in the world? Pure coincidence. Honest.*

In keeping with my rule of packing light, I brought only a carry-on bag and a laptop/large purse-ish bag, which left not a lot of room for excess stuff. There are a ton of posts out there about what to bring to BlogHer. Here's my list of things I didn't have room for:

1) Cynicism. Despite all my travels and city living, there is always hidden inside a young girl from Watson Lake, Yukon, pop. 1000 on a good day, who is startled and amazed at this incredible life I get to live. Jetting across the continent to spend time with all these gobsmackingly awesome people? And hearing Katie Couric, and Martha Stewart, and (for real, yes, not in person but by live video, uh, wow) Obama speak? Yeah. No room for cynicism in this suitcase.

2) Insecurity about how I measure up. This is a thing that has held me back my whole life. I refuse to carry it around with me anymore.

3) Worries about what to wear. I have clothes. They fit my body. Some of them are even cute. The end.

4) Guilt for leaving my husband and child for a week. There were brief moments of feeling bad, especially when The Imp had a total meltdown as I left, but remarkably it dissipated rather quickly as I enjoyed my surprise-free-upgrade-to-business-class pre-takeoff beverage. Funny how that is.

5) Obligations. So much of my day to day is filled with things I have to do. I have plans, and schedules, and lists, and all the necessities of parenting. This trip is entirely unencumbered. I've carefully not bought tickets to a Broadway show, not made dinner reservations every evening, not made plans at all. Spontaneity is a luxury I am going to enjoy.

6) A desire to shop. New York, I'm doing it wrong. Maybe. I just have a lot of stuff already, you know? Although stopping in at Strand today made me seriously consider just fedexing a box of things home.

7) Time for negativity. I try and make my way through my day inclined to be pleased with things, and I find that for the most part, things live up to my expectations. New York does not disappoint, which is hardly surprising.

Statue, Rockefeller Center

8) My DSLR. A radical act, for me, to travel without my big camera. Last year I brought it with me, lugged it everywhere, and barely used it. This year, I brought my iphone as my camera. So far so good.

9) Fear of not belonging. Of all the places I don't belong, I don't belong here the least.

10) My guitar, which makes me sad. But a week in New York can make up for a lot.

*Fingers crossed means it's ok to lie, right?