BlogHer '16 is a wrap: a few reflections

In the best way, I am bushed. So.flipping.tired. I head home tomorrow and will be glad to be back, but it's been a really special week, and I'm enormously grateful for time with dear friends, for myself, to learn, to reconnect with and get to know better some blogger pals, and to enjoy a needed break from motherhood. How much fun was I having in these pics?!

Since arriving in LA on Thursday, I've been inspired and moved and energized repeatedly.

I can tell you that Mayim Bialik is a seriously cool, intelligent, grounded, thoughtful, and funny woman. Check out her new website, GrokNation, which is about all the things that move and interest her. As someone who has been encouraged to narrow the focus of Em-i-lis but who has chafed at that idea, it was refreshing to hear Mayim say, "Yeah, from a marketing perspective, my site isn't easy, but I love a lot of things so why can't I write about them?"




I can tell you that this country is a more exciting, honest, funny, good place because of women, writers and activists like Jenny Yang, Luvvie Ajayi, Taz Ahmed, Lucy McBath (Mothers of the Movement, Everytown for Gun Safety), and Sallie Krawcheck.

"When you stop being afraid of what failure looks like, some really cool stuff happens." -Luvvie
"'We' is not just your family." -Jenny Yang
"Use any privilege you have to amplify less-privileged voices." -Luvvie
"I had to get past the grief, the 'never will haves' and get up each day and do what I had been teaching Jordan to do." -Lucy McBath (mother of Jordan Davis who was shot and killed in 2012 by a Jacksonville man angry at Davis for playing the music in his car too loudly)

Yep, that's me and Luvvie, and there's Tig on the right.

I can tell you that Michelle Dockery is going to be terrific in Good Behavior, and I look forward to the show starting in November. I can also tell you that I continue to love Tig Notaro, saw a sneak of her new show, One Mississippi, today and got to sit 20 feet from her in the Q&A afterwards. It was great, and when the whole of season 1 becomes available on Amazon on September 9, I'm watching!

I can tell you that when you meet someone who blows you away, who intrigues you, who makes you think "I want to know her/him." you should do what you can do to make that happen. Two or three years ago, at a food writing conference in Richmond, VA, Denise Vivaldo led a session on food styling. She is talented, hilarious, irreverent, and she lives big and joyfully. 

I had to get to know her. And, thanks to Facebook, I've been able to. On Friday night, she had me over, and we sat in her backyard, drank champagne, talked and cracked up repeatedly. What an absolute and totally cool few hours. It never hurts to reach out, y'all. Never hurts to ask and try.

And I can tell you that investing in yourself -with time, self care, education, rest, welcoming good people into your life- is something most of us, including me, don't do nearly enough but need to do much more. We deserve and require self-investment and so should not feel guilty about doing it. I struggle mightily with this but will continue to work to better balance my life and make my Self a priority more often. This week away has reminded me of all the value and happiness and lightness that come from doing so.