BlogU14: Coming Down Off the Mountain

For a woman in her mid-thirties, I think about college far too frequently. One of my most popular posts is about my collegiate days, I’ve reminisced about my roommates and the way we could destroy a kitchen, and my essay in “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth” is about a college pact.

I am many years from my college days, but this past weekend, I went back to school to attend BlogU, a blogging conference that took place at Notre Dame of Maryland University. We stayed in the dorms and attended sessions on campus, and we rocked our faces off at a retro prom hosted by NickMom. It was just like real college, but with less underage drinking and more Spanx.

@FunnyIsFamily at #BlogU14 Retro Prom hosted by @NickMom


Original image of my crazy eyes by Ellen Williams at Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

It was a busy three days, and I loved it. There were tears when it came time to leave. Not only was I saying goodbye to friends I wouldn’t see for months, but I suspected my day-to-day life at home wouldn’t involve at least three laugh-cries a day. I left Baltimore feeling like I did the day after my wedding. I was exhausted from anticipation and celebration, and I was emotionally wrung out. I loved everyone, and felt immense gratitude to those who had a hand in making this weekend come to fruition: from Stephanie Giese, who founded BlogU, to my husband, to my local friend who watched my kids yesterday so my husband could work.

I am happy to be home, of course. My soul belongs with my husband and children, and I missed his strong embrace and their sweet voices, but three days of marinating in the company of like-minded people is something special. It invigorated my spirit, and it got my writing fingers all twitchy and ready to work.

@RobynHTV teaching Creating Graphics at #BlogU14

I am inspired.

I am filled up.

I am excited about blogging, and anxious to make changes to my business model.

The transition back to reality reminds me of coming home from college for the summer. I would tearfully say goodbye to my friends, while looking forward to being with my family. Like I did yesterday, I would lug a bag of dirty laundry in the house, and immediately open the refrigerator. I would soon be asleep on the couch, my body knowing it was home, and collapsing into the welcoming embrace of the cushions.

Coming home from BlogU was also like college in that none of my tales of hilarity have resulted in amusement from my loved ones. This is why college kids give the standard “It’s good,” answer when asked about school. They can try to recreate the magic, but it is futile, and while everyone wants to know some knowledge was gleaned, specifics aren’t necessary. Also, no one thinks it’s funny when you describe choking on Doritos because you were eating them in your dorm bed after a party.

Coming down off the mountain is hard. The transition from mainlining inspiration and information without interruption, to returning to daily tasks and responsibilities can be jolting. I remember being warned of this phenomenon when I was at leadership camp in high school. We were given tools to lead and engage our peers, and spent three days being built up and challenged, and our counselors told us that the kids back at school wouldn’t be excited about the fun we had had, nor would they want to hear about the things we had learned. We were told to expect an emotional letdown, but that we would be able to infuse that magic we were bringing home into our school by implementing our learning, and channeling our enthusiasm.

I had an amazing weekend, with women who inspire me to be a better writer, a better blogger, and a better person. I made new friends, I solidified online friendships, and I worked hard as a member of the BlogU faculty. I can’t wait for next year, and I encourage anyone who was on the fence this year to take the leap and join us for a captivating weekend of learning, growing, connecting, and double-fisting cupcakes.

I have new friends, I have new goals, and I have a renewed spirit. That feels pretty great.

#BlogU14 Faculty at @NickMom Retro Prom

Image by Kelley’s Break Room.

[Tweet “A #BlogU14 recap, and why coming down off the mountain can be tough.”]



16 thoughts on “BlogU14: Coming Down Off the Mountain

  1. What a wonderful time- fun productive, emotionally bonding…doesn’t get much better than that. And I’m sure your hubs and the kids were delighted to get you back.

    Just to let you know, I am closing down my blog for a while. I’ll be checking back in on the blogs I read from time to time~

    1. I’d appreciate it if you could take it one step further and Photoshop yourself into my life. Kthanks.

  2. It was so great to see you! We’ll have to make a date so I can get my steamer. You are welcome to keep one as a thank you for hauling it back to CT for me!! xox

    1. I’m so glad you were there, Julie. I was excited for all of my faculty friends to meet you! I would say that you giving me one of the steamers is too generous, but my nasty, filthy floors won’t let me. They say I should thank you graciously. So I will. Thank you! I’m available the front half of this week, and would be happy to bring your steamer all the way to you. Message me!

  3. It’s been so amazing reading all the posts and statuses of all the women/blogger/writers who went to Blog U!! I loved this. I could actually feel the emotion behind your words… the let down is never really easy- but after the crash, the beautiful moments linger on for a lifetime!

    So glad you had such an awesome time! I hope to go next year…

    1. You are so right, Chris. I can already feel the magic fading, but I know the memories and knowledge I brought home will stay with me. I hope to see you next year!

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