I have driven to Orangeville countless times since it is part of the route we take to visit our family but I will always remember when I drove there for the first Food Bloggers of Canada Conference #FBC2013. When I pulled into the parking lot I started gathering all of my bags, including one LCBO bag full of wine that shockingly remained untouched for the weekend. I looked around and saw others getting out of their cars and I knew that by the nervous glances that there were many people as shy as I was.
I walked into the beautifully decorated, but dimly lit lobby of Hockley Valley, and after stashing my bags behind the check-in desk, I wandered over to where people were milling about. The first people to introduce themselves were Renee from SweetSugarBean.com and Kelly from The Gouda Life. We chatted for a bit and then we went our separate ways but I still didn’t really know anyone there so I went and sat by myself. My years of shyness and lack of self-confidence were right there with me and I started messaging my husband that I was too shy to go up to anyone and sit with them. I felt some tears starting to well up as I sat there wondering what the hell the weekend was going to be like if I couldn’t talk to anyone, when Hélène from La cuisine d’Hélène came and chatted with me and we were soon joined by others. We all had a great chat and Amy, from FamilyFeedBag.com, even offered to lend me a dress when I realized that I was supposed to dress up for dinner the first night. I felt like a fool for forgetting that Friday was our cocktail party. I was pretty upset with myself butI knew that it was going to be ok even if I had to wear skinny jeans to the cocktail hour and dinner.
It was that evening when I was walking up to my room to get changed when I realized that for the first time in my life, I felt like I really belonged somewhere.
I was so full after dinner that I had to go up and change into yoga pants if I had even a hope of having one of the milkshakes on offer from KitchenAid. I really wanted to stay up for the movie but I was falling asleep and that wine gave me a wicked headache. Again, it was like I was a different person. Those who know me, know that I’m a girl who can handle her wine. *Note to self: buy a copy of Back to the Future.
I have been blogging for about 2 years now, but I realized at the conference that I haven’t been taking myself seriously as a blogger up until very very recently. I don’t really tell people what I do and only recently have I told people that while I am a full-time mom, I am making at go at being a full-time food blogger as well. While I was at the conference I had an epiphany. Only when I started to take myself seriously about being a food blogger, did I start to have some really positive opportunities come my way.
Because of this conference and the remarkable sense of belonging I felt while there, I am confident I am on the right path to the career I was always supposed to have. I am a writer. I might add, that because of a conversation I had with my sweet roommate, Louisa, I will soon start a historical podcast about the Regency Era in Great Britain. Talking the poor girl’s ear off led me to realize that the idea of doing a podcast is feasible. I am able to break down a vast amount of historical information and convey the salient points so that someone who didn’t really know anything about a subject has a basic grasp of the topic discussed. It seems that getting a Master’s degree in Public History might not totally go to waste after all. Time will tell…
Thank you to all who I connected with at #FBC2013, it meant the world to me. You really all have no idea. Aimée, I wish we had had a chance to chat more. I was thrilled when you tweeted me but I was too damn shy to sit down with you and talk your ear off the way I wanted to.
I’m going to go put on my son’s Superman cape now and stand with my hands on my hips, shoulders back, boobs out, and shout, “I am a Food Blogger!”