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BlogHer on My Mind

I wasn’t going to go to BlogHer this year.  Back in the winter, I was having a bit of a nervous breakdown and Josh suggested that I take one thing off my plate that gave me anxiety.  Flying to California by myself was one of the things keeping me up at night, so we removed it from my plate and it instantly made all other things feel manageable.  It’s funny how you can trick the mind that way.

Then Elisa wrote me to see if I’d speak during Pathfinder Day, the pre-conference conference.  It sounded really cool, and suddenly BlogHer was back on the table.  The anxiety was back too, though so many things had been added to my plate since I originally removed the trip that it now felt more like a dull buzz than a scream.

I am not great with flying.  Actually, that’s really an understatement.  I am terrible with flying.  I am so anxious on a plane that I can’t think.  I usually sit, staring straight ahead.  In case you were planning on suggesting that we go on a tour of Europe together, I wanted to let you know that I don’t make the best travel partner.  At least getting there. (I’m usually fine once I’m on the ground and I pick up new languages quickly so… perhaps if you could just ignore me until we reach our destination I’d be a more attractive choice of travel partner.)

I am anxious about being so far from home; so far from everyone I love.  I am anxious about being in a big crowd and finding people I’m looking for.  I’m anxious about the logistics — eating or getting from point A to point B.

I am not anxious about the actual Pathfinder Day.  I’m actually very excited to talk writing and publishing with fellow writers.  I am grateful to be asked to be a part of it.  It sounds like a way to take a very big conference and make it small.  I hope to connect with a lot of people that pre-conference day and it will carry me through the conference.

I always have a good time once I’m there.  When I get home, I’m happy I went.

I am not sure how much I’ll be able to blog through this conference.  I’m trying to travel light; that theme of shedding things has carried through the whole year.  I’ve created ways to blog from small objects, so while you may not get my deepest thoughts until I get home, I will hopefully get to throw up some pictures of ALI bloggers I meet along the way.

Just promise me that things are going to be okay because that’s where I am today.  Taking deep breaths.


1 Denise { 08.02.11 at 7:56 am }

Um. Hello? Things will be fine. And if they are not, then you call me 847 770 5444 if I don’t pick up, you text me immediately and I will make everything ok. That’s all you need, right there. Have I ever let you down?


2 a { 08.02.11 at 8:59 am }

Of course it will be fine! We just flew to California and it was completely uneventful.

3 Mrs. Gamgee { 08.02.11 at 9:16 am }

Things will be just fine… perhaps taking something to help you relax when you get on the plane (a little Gravol, or a big glass of wine?) will help? You’re going to have a great time once you’re there.

4 serenity { 08.02.11 at 9:26 am }

Flying always seems so WRONG to me, so I hear you about the anxiety. But it will be okay. And San Diego is gorgeous, so once you get there you’ll relax and have fun.

Just keep breathing, bring some relaxing music on your iPod, and maybe a good book.

You can totally do this. 🙂


5 It Is What It Is { 08.02.11 at 9:44 am }

You and I have commiserated over our shared fear of flying so I will simply say that you WILL get from point A to point B but it will likely suck (in your mind). Through the recommendation of many people who know my paralyzing fear, I took Ativan on my last flight (the first time I’d flown in 7 years). And, while I still cried, a lot, it did take the edge off and I did actually fly (something I had done, as you can see, in some time).

Safe travels, friend.

6 slowmamma { 08.02.11 at 10:05 am }

I am leaving on an overseas flight in just hours and I am terribly anxious about the flying as well (the toddler and the crazy family waiting for us when we get there don’t help). My best strategy to date is to watch the simplest movie available to you. Sometimes it’s only one but I watch romantic comedies and plain old comedies, movies that I would rarely ever see otherwise. Dumb television was also my strategy for surviving bedrest.

Have a good trip and I’m sure you will have a fantastic time once you are there.

7 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 08.02.11 at 10:50 am }

You will have a great time! (at the conference, maybe not on the flight, but the flight will be fine)

8 JDragonfly { 08.02.11 at 12:38 pm }

Tell your fear who’s the boss, Mel! I’m sending you tons of wishes for a safe flight and a really rewarding experience at the conference…

9 Mo { 08.02.11 at 12:43 pm }

I’m terrified of flying too! I’ve found the best strategy is to not sleep and then get to the plane so tired I have no choice but to conk out. Though I’m not sure that’ll work so well if you’re going in the morning. Another thing I do is visualize my flight. I go online and check what movies they’ll be playing and decide what I’ll watch/read during the flight. It sounds silly, but it works most of the time. Now if only I can do the same thing with my lap this thursday…. Ahh well. Have an awesome time!

10 Katie { 08.02.11 at 1:07 pm }

Things will be fine. Deep breaths. YOU CAN DO THIS!

11 magpie { 08.02.11 at 2:14 pm }

I’ll give you a hug.

12 edenland { 08.02.11 at 2:35 pm }

I just don’t understand how planes work. Just pretend you’re not on a plane.

I am going to Pathfinder, so I will hunt you down and not rest until I have hugged you and you will know from my hug that I really mean the hug.


13 HereWeGoAJen { 08.02.11 at 2:46 pm }

You can do it! I have actually had to hold the hand of a random scared woman on an airplane before, so just pretend I am sitting next to you holding your hand. And you wouldn’t even be a random lady I’d never met before!

14 Tertia { 08.02.11 at 3:08 pm }

Can totally relate. Going away from home, logistics etc always make me very anxious. Best advice: prepare, prepare, prepare. Pre plan every thing. Helps with the anxiety. (I take a file with print outs, direction, telephone numbers etc)

15 May { 08.02.11 at 5:08 pm }

Shall I be waiting for you at the airport with a cocktail? Not that it would do you much good at the arrival end of things…

I’m excited you’re coming! We’ve prepared for you by having an unusually humid weather pattern. Just so you feel at home.

16 Anna { 08.02.11 at 5:16 pm }

It will definitely be fine, some bits will be less than lovely but none of it will be as bad as you think it might be. I am also not great at travelling, I benefit a lot from taking entertainment and blocking out the whole experience. Well done on deciding to just go, the travel feels big but it will be routine and you will be glad that you went again.

17 Chickenpig { 08.02.11 at 7:32 pm }

It will be ok. Can you post on FB or blog while you’re up there so we can talk you through it? I would say Tweet, too, but I can’t help you there because I’m a Luddite.

18 loribeth { 08.02.11 at 7:54 pm }

I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of flying, but I wouldn’t say I love it either. I plug in my headset to watch TV or listen to music, &/or bring a good book or magazine to get lost in. It will all be worth it when you get there! Have a great time — I’m looking forward to your reports!

19 Tamara { 08.02.11 at 7:57 pm }

I was supposed to fly to Vancouver years ago and I hadn’t flown in over five years, the previous time being before Sept. 11 and the current time being after. I had nightmares for months and even took anti-anxiety medicine with me onto the plane. And somehow, without the meds, I was cool as a cucumber the whole flight.

I wish the same for you!

20 Mali { 08.02.11 at 10:24 pm }

Road trip! ???
I don’t have a fear of flying, but I do have other irrational fears, and I know telling you it will be okay is pointless. I admire you for facing your fear, and doing it anyway. And I’m sure once you’re there you’ll have a great time.

21 {sue} { 08.03.11 at 12:07 am }

We would make great anxiety-ridden travel partners. I’m not going this year, but I would have LOVED to hear your Pathfinder panel. Safe travels.

22 Keiko { 08.03.11 at 12:27 pm }

True story: from the moment the plane begins to move for takeoff until all wheels are in the air – I chant the Sh’ma & V’havta under my breath, over and over.


Wishing you safe travels and the best of luck for the conference.

23 Balancing Act { 08.04.11 at 10:13 pm }

I have the same anxiety of flying. I will actually make myself sick from it all and will look like crapola as soon as I land. Keep yourself busy some way some how on the flight.

You will have a great time and everything will be great.

24 Bea { 08.06.11 at 8:01 am }

Deep breaths, deep breaths.

I prefer surface travel, for the variety, so we can still go on holidays together. Anyway, if it was Europe we’d meet there.

I was thinking the other week that I’d like to see if I can take a short course on logistics as I find it interesting and then I went on holiday with two children and a husband and discovered I was already doing a short course on logistics, or more of a crash course, really. It was… interesting.


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