When I walked into my first Blissdom Canada conference, I was quite nervous. I recognized several people from their profile pictures but struggled with the confidence to just walk up to them. Although I had spoken to many of them on several occasions through social media and blog comments, I had never met any of them face-to-face.
That was back in 2012. Now, as I get ready to head out to my 4th Blissdom in just a few weeks, I know I’ll be walking in with a totally different feeling. I’ll be walking in excited to reconnect with some of my closest friends. People who I know will be just as excited to see me.
Although we only see each other once or twice a year, we will act like close friends who see each other all the time. We will talk a mile a minute. We will stuff our face shamelessly with candy and snacks. We will laugh so hard we snort. We will dance like complete idiots. We will stay up way too late. We will do it all over again the next day. And we will love every minute of it.
At Blissdom I found my people. I became part of the community that is so accepting and supportive. They are passionate, honest and speak from the heart. They use words on a page to share their voice with the world, just like me. Many of us are creative, energetic and maybe just a little bit awkward, but with each other we find a new level of comfort and familiarity.
The bonding that I found at that first Blissdom has stuck with me and grown. These are fellow moms and dads that I know were there for me anytime I need them.
Recently I had a reason to lean on this community more than I ever have before. The day we unexpectedly lost my Mama, some of the first and most heartfelt words I received were from my friends in the blogging and Blissdom community. They sent me personal messages emails and called me, all to show their support at such a difficult time in my life. In a few weeks time I will be cashing in on many promises of hugs and whiskey. This all from people who I only see once or twice a year.
Blissdom taught me that true friendships don’t have to follow a format.
Bonds can be formed with people you just met. They can be maintained with infrequent visits. They can grow with words shared only through blog posts, Twitter chats and Facebook messages.
It was a sad day last week when I learned that this year will be the very last Blissdom Canada Conference. However, I know that the community will live on and will continue to grow. There will be other events and opportunities to get together, laugh and share. I look forward to the future and all that it holds for this beautiful group of individuals I know as my friends.
Ideally speaking, everyone should have the opportunity to find people they connect with to this level and build lifelong bonds.
Are you thinking of coming to the very last Blissdom? 2015 promises to be the best Bliss ever! Register now and join us.