Jill from Scary Mommy – Social networking and design dynamo – just try to match her. You can’t.
Marinka of Motherhood in NYC – one of the the funniest women online, hands down.
Amy of The Bitchin’ Wives Club – a perfect storm of creative talent and undeniable charisma.
(By the way – both Marinka and Amy are two out of three for the humor category. Apparently, I have very good taste in funny people.)
That’s three out of fifteen presenters. And believe me, I’m not nearly plugged in enough to be familiar with even 20% of the people whose posts were submitted. So I’m feeling quite proud on their behalf.
I can’t wait to hear them read their words on stage AND to see the art that will be auctioned off reflecting each piece.
And that’s part two of “the good!” Kirtsy has teamed up with BlogHer to curate an exhibition of works of art – each of which will represent one of the 75 posts that were finalists. These pieces will be auctioned off to benefit The Nature Conservancy and help in the long-term healing of the Gulf Coast.
But what about the bad? What could be bad about that?
Well – here’s the bad.
One of MY nominations that I was so confident would be in the top 15 didn’t get picked. But it’s not all bad… Anymommy (of Is There Any Mommy Out There fame) was still a finalist for Matching, and I very much look forward to seeing the art created to represent her breathtakingly poignant writing.
I could say the same of Ann from Ann’s Rants, Jessica of Bern This, Sue of Laundry for Six and Renee of But Why Mommy who were also finalists. I’m thinking it was a hard call on their entries (and I could even say that “they were robbed!” but I won’t go there…)
So yeah – many wonderful blog friends have been recognized in one way or another. I’m really happy for them – and can’t wait to tell them so in person.
There’s the ugly…
I’m sorry – but I’m trying to keep it real here because…well no reason really – I just feel like it today. And lucky you – you get to hear about it!
Before I get into the muck and grime, I’ll start with a little tale about a three year old angel of a girl named Eleanor. Eleanor is a delight. She’s lovely and full of fun (and – cough, cough – my daughter) – and she is at a very impressionable age.
The other week, we were in California on vacation with my in laws who had a fantastic time being a very bad influence on my children. Late night baseball game outings…unlimited snack food that they never get at home…special presents just because they want them… You know – grandparent stuff. And one evening my sweet little girl was lucky enough to have their undivided attention. They played a kids’ bingo game with the odds drastically stacked in Eleanor’s favor.
And then the sh*t talking started.
Mama Sue: Eleanor – we’re not going to let Papa win! YOU’RE going to win.
Eleanor (very much liking this line of thought): Yeah! YOU’RE not going to win Papa. I’M going to win. You CAN’T win!
And so on and so on and so on [insert uproarious indulgent grandparental laughter here].
SO CUTE, right?
I actually thanked them at the time for my own future hell to come when faced with the next preschool gaming situation.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and we are playing another bingo game at home (what is it with us bingo anyway? We may as well hustle on over to the community center for seniors’ night out this Friday…) Anyway – we were playing a very fair game that included Eleanor, a semi-involved George and a completely disinterested Oliver. Eleanor immediately started in with her “I’m gonna win” talk, even though her brothers couldn’t have cared less. Since no one was getting special treatment, George (who may have been in the kitchen looking for snacks at the time) won.
Chris said, “Hey look! George is the winner!” And…Eleanor fell to pieces. She really believed that she would always win. No one ever talked to her about the reality of losing. So after some piercing glares and and semi-subtle head tilting from me, Chris took Eleanor aside to talk about what it means to lose.
And as I listened, it occurred to me that the bottom line is the same for everyone regardless of age. If you lose – you have to keep trying. Don’t get mad – just try again. It’s not anyone’s favorite answer. In fact, it’s tedious at best…but it’s very simply true. You really can’t win them all. In fact you might lose them all – but you have to try to have a chance.
SO that brings me to the ugly involved in this year’s BlogHer Voices of the Year selections. As much as we are over the moon excited for the winners – it’s unavoidable that some others were very disappointed.
Because you know what? I’m one of them. And I’m hideously embarrassed to admit that.
When a good friend asked if I’d like her to submit anything for me, I honestly hadn’t considered even trying. I mean, I like what I write, and my small circle of friends and readers give me positive feedback – but I’ve never been the one picked out of the crowd. Always a bridesmaid and never a bride and all that… And really that’s been kind of fine with me because I’ve always felt far more comfortable in the faded perimeter of the spotlight.
But just the idea of submitting something of mine gave birth to “what if.” And that is a very powerful concept. So for once I was bold and asked for recognition. I forwarded two links to posts that mean a lot to me – ones that fill me with emotion when I read them – and said “send them in.” Doesn’t sound like much – but it’s a BIG deal for a mild mannered girl such as myself.
Then time passed and my “what if” was put into the proper perspective. It was a “wouldn’t that be nice – but it’s highly unlikely” (the overcompensating, insecure hope of “what if”).
Most of the time, I really didn’t consider it, but every once in a while something would be mentioned about Voices of the Year, and I’d notice that pretty little “what if” sparkling on my right hand ring finger. I’d taken it for granted, but was happy to admire it now and again.
At some point last week, I read that the 75 finalists as well as the 15 winners would be announced today. And I did something previously unthinkable.
I even planned.
Why not? I typically live so small – what would it hurt to think big for a little while. Even knowing that disappointment was probable, couldn’t I weigh the universe in my favor with my longing? The Secret said it totally works! Ah well…I think we all let our imaginations get the best of us sometimes.
Last night when I was talking to Chris about BlogHer and the agenda (he’s in the conference planning world, so he’s actually interested), I explained how the Voices of the Year session was planned. I mentioned that I had a couple of posts submitted, “but – they’re two out of a thousand – so you know…”
His reaction was a little more positive though. He said “why not you?”
And that small part of me that wants to be bigger than I really am thought, “that’s right! Why NOT me?” So for one whole night I believed in myself. Not just “what if” – but “why not?”
Well – I don’t need to give too much detail on the obvious outcome. Even if you’re not familiar with the list of finalists, you can pretty much guess that I wasn’t one of them.
And I was disappointed. Not so much that I wasn’t one of the top 15 (remember – I like the peripheral area of the spotlight), but more so because the words that once poured directly out of my heart weren’t even an almost.
It’s not pretty – but it’s the truth. And we’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives, so I’m not afraid to put it out there. I would be very surprised if there was anyone who couldn’t relate to this on some level.
But you know what? I don’t think disappointment or jealousy or envy are so bad. They’re just feelings. And at the very best, they are a sign of trying. Of wanting. Of putting ourselves out there and risking rejection. There is honor in that. And I’m proud of my battle scars.
Envy isn’t a particularly attractive emotion – it’s even classified as a sin (one of the top seven!). But a little green eyed monster never hurts anyone if kept on a short leash (and kenneled as quickly as possible). At worst – it shows our ugly. At best, it keeps us real.
So for anyone else who felt a little “why not me” today (or even “why never me?“), I’d like to honor you for trying. It takes courage to try. You’d be surprised how many people never do.
And in return, I’d like to ask you one thing. Please read my own small attempts:
I still believe in myself. And I’ll probably submit something of my own next year. I hope you do the same.
Have courage. Be bold. Keep trying.
Hey – it worked for Susan Lucci.