Here are the things I loved about the Design*Sponge/Anthropologie book signing I attended on Tuesday night:
1. The book itself. I hadn’t seen it yet, and y’all, it’s freaking amazing. This book, while very beautifully designed, really is chock full of so many great photos, tips, tricks and DIY projects. I’m excited to dive into it more this weekend. If you haven’t checked it out, definitely do so.
2. Anthro went all out on the decor and styling of the space. Everything looked great and the vignettes were beautiful.
3. Grace, while likely quite tired from going to like 20 cities in the past 5 minutes, was very nice.
So this was my first book signing I’d ever been to for anything, and I think I just didn’t know what to expect. In my head, I imagined there would be all these local bloggers hanging out in Anthropologie, flipping through the book together and talking about design and style and our blogs and favorite things and we’d network and exchange info and then all skip merrily off into the sunset (while tweeting about it, of course). In real life, there was a long line of women clustered together in twos and threes, all clearly having just come from work, in an extremely hot room, waiting to get their book signed, and uninterested in talking to anyone.
Which is totally fine. Again, I think in my head, I just imagined it to be something else. In reality, since I went to the event solo (probably mistake #1) and everyone else brought a buddy, I was that weirdo who kept picking up all the housewares and inspecting them like they were the most interesting things on Earth, and also checking my phone every two minutes. This only looked cool for so long, so I eventually split, without even buying another monogrammed mug (for the record I really did like this one). Womp.
When I got home and processed why I felt disappointed, I realized it was for the following reasons. The toughest thing about blogging when you’re first starting out is that feeling of isolation and loneliness, like no one is ever listening to your voice and that what you say doesn’t matter. I’ve so been there! So on the flip side, once you begin getting readers and start building a relationship with another blogger, you really feel on top of the world. Life makes sense again. There’s actually someone out there as obsessed with this stuff as you are! It’s a great feeling, to make a connection with someone you’ve never met. Like all those insecurities that we women face can be set aside, because on the other end of that computer, your fellow blogger or reader loves blazers as much as you do.
But of course, in person and face to face with a room full of anonymous design lovers, all these rules and boundaries and insecurities still apply — or at least, it feels like they do. Which explains why I didn’t feel comfortable introducing myself to someone yesterday. Or saying hi to some bloggers I did recognize. It was like being alone on day one in the blogosphere again. What if they don’t like me or what I have to say?
So I left, which is probably what 95% of people with the same thoughts (read: head case) as me would’ve done too. Still, looking back today, I wish I would’ve been braver and said hi. I put myself out there when I’m here, on the Internet, and when I first started blogging, I pushed through those “what ifs”; why couldn’t I do it in person? What stopped me?
I realize this is a little heavy and maybe semi-ridiculous to write about a simple book signing (perspective, Victoria), but one thing I have said about this blog since day one is that I wanted it to be real, to be honest and to be genuine. So that’s why I’m sharing with you my thoughts and not writing something like “the event was amazeballs and the cookies were delish!”
On the flip side, I’m glad I went, because the book is fantastic, and in the end, if it got me to think about things like this, that’s still positive. Keeps me on my toes.
The only other blog life to real life experience I’ve had was meeting Morgan last year, and that went fabulously. So perhaps the smaller meetup is the way to go!
Have any of you experienced similar awkward moments taking your blogging life into your real, in the flesh life?
PS, all photos in this post were taken by me as I roamed around the store, trying to look with it. Real smooth.
PSS, here’s a photo of me and Grace together. It’s flippin hot and I’m sweating and wishing I could take my jacket off and I’m also squatting down as low as I can — they had her sitting in a super low chair. The person behind me in line took this pic, and yes, the rumors are true, it took her 3 long, embarrassing “how do I work this thing?” tries. This was the start of a night filled with awkward moments.