On Wednesday, I headed to BlogHer'11. My friends and I flew into Nashville where we had a connecting flight to San Diego. Luckily, there was plenty of time to spare between the flights and we didn't have any problems making our connection...because missing it would've been annoying.
On the flight to San Diego, I sat next to a nice young girl named Brielle. We started talking and I found out all sorts of things about her. She's 17 and lives in Nashville with her mom and grandparents. She has two little half-siblings who call her Big Sissy. She starts her senior year on Tuesday but she's going in on Monday to help the underclassmen. She took in a stray cat a few years ago, she has five house plants, and she reads the Bible. She was flying to San Diego to catch a connecting flight to Sacramento. I'll never know how Brielle's trip to Sacramento was and I'll never find out what college she picks or anything else about her because our paths will surely never cross again...but for a few hours last Wednesday, we made a connection, fleeting as it was.
When I arrived at BlogHer, I found out that this conference is all about connecting. Connecting with brands to get swag (because yes, this borderline hoarder needs free crap like a hole in the head!); connecting with fellow bloggers as you lamely tell them that your blog is about your life (yep, because the other 3,599 write about the same thing!); connecting with strangers at lunch because they just had to sit at your table where all you wanted to do was eat in peace so you could pick all the lunchmeat off the roll without feeling like a freak or a four year old; connecting with bloggers in lectures in which you learned about connecting with readers. It was a heckuva lotta connecting. It was so exhausting that by the end of the day, the only thing that I wanted to connect with was my bed. Snoring be damned.
I'm actually not the best at making connections with people. On the surface, yeah, sure. I'm the gal everyone knows and waves to and who seems like a jolly good time. But the honest to goodness, trust you enough to let you in, trust you enough to let you see me, the real Denise...that's been a work in progress. This year has been a turning point for me. Maybe it's the blog, maybe it's the quieting of all the voices in my head (except the ones who speak up on nights when I eat Oreos too late), maybe it's something that even I can't explain, but this year, I've started making those connections. There are people in my life who I know I can count on, the ones who I trust enough to give my spare house key to, the ones who I can invite over without caring that I didn't clean up all the clutter, and the ones who I can call or text or Facebook about whatever crazy thought crosses my mind. They're my connections; they're my friends. And boy, am I glad that I didn't miss out on them.
So, go out and make connections. Maybe even play Connect Four. Whatever. Just don't miss any more connections.