Taking Myself Seriously and #FBC2013

Lanyard and business cards from Food Blogging ConferenceI 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!”

Friends and a Birthday Giveaway!

Comments

  1. says

    I was on the lookout for you all weekend and it wasn't until the very last day that I realized who you were. It was just so busy for the three of us that we never really got the chance to socialize as much as the rest of you. I really wish you had come up and said hi - it would have been lovely to chat with you! But I'm so glad you found the weekend fulfilling!
    • Christina says

      It was either my shyness or my extreme Canadian-ness that made me not want to bother you because I thought you would be too busy. BTW - your tech-talk was awesome. Thank you.
  2. says

    Christina!!! It was wonderful meeting you! I wish we could have chatted longer. I love your Tweets and think you are pretty damn fabulous. I look forward to following your blog. Glad you had a great experience at Hockley.
    • Christina says

      I had such a great time hanging out with you. :) I hope we can meet up again soon. We don't live that far apart. Even though I am a chicken-shit when it comes to driving close to GTA. I'm a smalltown girl at heart.
  3. says

    It was so nice meeting you and spend some time with you. You are such a great person to be with and I loved all of our chats :) My bag of LCBO was also full when I left the resort. You are a great writer and I enjoy reading you. You found your path and you need to follow it. Hope to see you soon.
    • Christina says

      Thanks Helene. It was so great to get to know you a little better and I hope we have more opportunities to meet again soon.
  4. says

    Christina! I love this post so much. I too felt a sense of belonging at the conference. It was so lovely to be roomies with you and I LOVED chatting about the regency era, reminded me of how much I love history. It's definitely something I want to learn more about, I cannot wait for your podcast! Wave that (Canadian) food blogging flag high - so glad that I have a new favourite blog to add to my list. xo!
    • Christina says

      You are such a doll, Louisa! Thanks for putting up with a rambling old historian when I'm sure your were as exhausted as I was.
    • Christina says

      Thank you Amy. It is a true testament to your generous spirit that the first person whom you really spoke to, you offered your dress to. Thank you so much. It really meant a lot to me and contributed to my feeling of belonging at the conference.
  5. says

    Christina! Well said. I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you've found your niche. I was terrified going to this conference, a real bag of nerves because I was sure that no one was going to speak to me for the entire time that I was there and I had a blast. It was absolutely great to meet you and I'm enjoying reading your blog and love the stories about your family and your dogs :) Looking forward to connecting more in the future.
    • Christina says

      Thanks Rhonda. Us dog lovers are such kindred spirits although I bet your dog is better behaved than my unruly beasts. I would at least like to think that there are 'good' dogs out there, although I love mine fiercely despite their naughty antics.
  6. says

    What a great recap! And that Amy is a pretty special gal, isn't she? I'm so glad we had the chance to speak (albeit briefly), and I look forward to following what you do as full-time food blogger!
    • Christina says

      Thank goodness for the outgoing people! We don't even live that far away from each other either. If you ever feel like coming to the St. Jacob's Farmers Market we could have a Food Blogger field trip! That goes for anyone :). I live really close to it. Kids love it because there are pony rides, kettle corn, and lots of cows in the stockyard.
  7. says

    Late to the party, but wanted to stop by to say that you are on a great path here, so keep it up. Our conversation was another one of many that I wish could have continued over drinks...then dinner. It was really great to meet you. If you're ever in Montreal, be sure to shoot me a line. And keep in touch on social media! xo
    • Christina says

      Thanks Aimee, that means a lot to me. I think we will have to take a road trip East soon to visit friends in Ottawa and carry on to Montreal then we'd have a chance to have those drinks and longer chat. :)
  8. says

    Christina, what a great read! I wish we would have had a chance to chat more, but I'm glad we got those first few shy words in. I love your confidence in this post, and I have no doubt you are on the right path. Keep going! Boobs always out!
    • Christina says

      Thanks Renee. Fingers crossed there will be another Canadian food blogging conference soon. After Melissa, Ethan and Mardi catch their collective breaths.
  9. allyson says

    Christina - you are such a beautiful person, inside and out. It seems many of us were feeling very shy, but it was great to chat with you and others and get past that. Congrats on having that epiphany, I wish you great success and hope we can continue working together! :)
    • Christina says

      Thank you Allyson. The conference will definitely be one of the highlights of my year. I look forward to opportunities to work with you in the future. :)
  10. says

    Love how you discovered your sense of blogging self through this conference. It was a wonderful experience for me too. I think many of us felt a little shy going in. I'd never met anyone there before, but it was such a welcoming, generous-spirited crowd. I'm glad we got a chance to talk on Sunday morning, to connect in person instead of just over Twitter. I'll be following your blog with interest! "Musing Mar"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.