It's impossible. BlogHer is a wild beast, a mechanical bull at a bar that you get on with a heart full of intention and expectations and it ends up sliding you all over in places you didn't expect to stretch.
I can throw out a few observations, though.
1) Redeeming the price of my ticket during the very first session I attended. Brene Brown, Gluten Free Girl, and Mr Lady on the panel talking of Perfect Imperfections: Blogging Your Way to Self-Acceptance I need to buy every book that Brene has written - she is an expert on shame. So am I, really.
2) I ate my first Twizzler. I do not like Twizzlers. But I watched Twizzler Girl, the whole conference. Day in, day out, offering her Twizzlers to all who walked past. She kept offering me one, as if she had never seen me before. I walked past her a lot. And I thought, who is Twizzler Girl? With her hat and Twizzlin' outfit? What are her hopes and dreams in life? She reminded me of when I used to work in an ice-cream shop on Manly Wharf in 1991. I loathed that job, was so very hungover every bloody day. I would scoop the ice cream and want to scream at the people I AM MORE THAN AN ICE CREAM SCOOPER.
Twizzler Girl was more than just a Twizzler Girl, just like I was more than Ice Cream Girl. I wish I'd asked her exactly what.
3) The outrageous Sparklecorn cake:
What's so outrageous about it? The fact that I did not get a piece.
3) Waiting to talk with Jenny in her makeshift bathroom, one of my favourite bloggers Megan from Velveteen Mind coming up to say hello. When I told her my blog she knew who I was, and we had a beautiful talk that night and again two nights later. Megan is a knife-juggler who revels in the threadbare. She did not bat an eye when I cried to her.
4) Crying, a lot. For so many different reasons. I took an ache in my heart over there and brought it back home with me. Was I born with this fucking ache? So annoying.
5) Ree set the tone of the whole of BlogHer for me. I went to her Pathfinder panel on the first day - not because I want to become a media company ... I just wanted to bask in her glory. And I did - she is so gorgeous and shy and funny. I had dragged across the globe a copy of her book "Pioneer Woman Cooks" to get signed for my friend and top Aussie food blogger Liss from Frills in the Hills. Liss also gave me a box of Aussie candy, to give to Ree.
I sat there with the book and the candy under the table, shrinking at the thought of walking up and asking her to sign it. Lunch time came, people made a beeline for her, and I decided that no, I would NOT get the
book signed. I would tell Liss sorry, it was too hard. So I walked out and down the hall to get some lunch. Dejected idiot. And then I punched myself in the head. "Just go back in and ask her to sign your friends book! Just doooo iiiiiitttttt."
So I did. And when Ree saw me she clapped her hands and told me she couldn't believe it was me and she loved my twitter vlog and she has watched it fifteen times. And all the people around her turned to look at who she could possibly be speaking to. She was talking to me, the Ice Cream Girl. Later in the panel Ree adjusted her spanx and then sang an American underpants theme song from when she was a kid. And I thought wow ... THIS is why she rocks the whole blogging world.
(And this is why we must push past our comfort zones ... why, if we walk the world with an open heart, we will be richly rewarded.)
6) Half-and-half. Just deserves its own bullet point, is all.
7) Oh, Mrs Woog. I watched her show a group of raucous American coupon bloggers how to donkey root, She conducted an experiment on whether Americans knew what a "mole" meant, (they didn't) .. and every day, I watched her never take herself too seriously. I love her.
8) I had a truly religious experience in True Religion. Here in Australia, shopping is expensive - a pair of True Religion jeans would set you back a lot. I went in on a mission, tried on so many pairs that I had to start taking photos of them and then asking the girl three pairs down the track ... where are these ones again?
She found them, and before I bought them - "Still Haven't Found" came on over the speakers and I started crying (see: Ache). She did not bat an eyelid. It's hard to shock you Americans.
I could go on forever, I could. But my kids are fighting and I have to go be a soccer mum.
I've learnt, from reading other recap posts including this from Lerner and this from my main homie Mel and this one by the fricking gorgeous Mom 101 ... (Liz I want to make love to your mind) that it's common for everybody to feel deflated after seeing friends and letting go and having so much fun. The high of it was just so high ... surely, Dorothy must have looked around the room after she woke and felt so relieved that she was back in her own home, but missing the glitz and sparkle of Emerald City? That when she went back to raking the muck out of the pig pens, she had an ache she could not quite place?
And then this.
My suns, my anchors, my sweetest little turdburgers.