Admission: I am wildly shy and a HUGE dork. Seriously. If you haven’t met me you may not believe this about me… shit, even if you have met me you may not believe this about me. Most of the time I do a decent job of hiding it.
Due to my shy dorkdom massive crowds like conferences can be, oh, you know, just slightly overwhelming to me! Twice in the past month or so I’ve had the opportunity to go to two separate food blogging conferences: IFBC in Seattle in August and Blogher Food in San Francisco last weekend. Totally different conferences in format and feel. Both of them have highlights and points they could work on but the two things that really shines about both of conferences: 1.) THE PEOPLE…. and 2.) Penny De Los Santos.
My east coast soul sister Maggy and Me w/ Bacon-tinis!
Food bloggers are some of the nicest, passionate, crazy people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and hang out with. Basically these conferences are a big love fest and I am happy to be a part of it.
Penny is an extraordinary, super inspirational individual and if you ever get a chance to meet her/ hear her speak and see her photos you won’t be able to keep yourself from gushing all over her. It’s a pretty standard reaction. (And while I’m gushing – Penny, you are H.O.T.… While I’m neither hot nor extraordinary like you, I am single and would love to go our for a drink. Holla!)
A big part of what drives me to Penny is her message. It’s pretty much exactly my life philosophy. In her words, “Dream big, take risks, work your ass off”. This is wildly huge in my life. I believe that we are only alive for such a short period of time that we should appreciate every aspect of our lives and fill it to the brim with what makes us happy and moves us. I also believe that you get out of life what you put in. Don’t be afraid to dream big and take chances – if you don’t put it out there, how is it going to happen? (look I just asked Penny out a few sentences ago – that’s taking a risk, right? Or am I just crazy?) And yes – work your ass off… in my life I interpret this as not giving up. Really, if you stay committed and continue to work at your goals you are bound to succeed at anything. Not giving up and working your ass off for the things you are passionate about is the key. I know it’s cheesy and cliché but, fo realla, quitters never win. And to tack it onto this “what amanda finds inspirational” paragraph – a wise man once said “attitude is damn near everything” and without this life-alter philosophy I would still be wallowing in a pit of self loathing. Life and the world are all about perception. You have a choice of how you perceive anything. Even negative events can teach you something and thus be turned into a positive experience. If you go into a situation in a negative or bad frame of mind regardless how awesome the situation – you’ll probably stay negative. Likewise – if you are hunting out the good and positive, there is almost always an upside to EVERYTHING in life. I am an eternal optimist. Woah – this post reeeeeaaaaally wasn’t meant to turn into a motivational talk. It’s just that that’s where I am in my life and personal growth and sometimes I have diarrhea of the mouth. There are a lot of things about the current transitional state of my life that I am nervous about but staying focused on living as best I can and as full as I can allows the nervousness to be excitement!
Last photo but certainly not least, posing with Peabody, my IFBC partner in crime (beer smuggling is a crime, right?) and Seattle soul sister! Missed you at BHF, woman!
Anywhoodles, like the lame-o that I am I didn’t bring my camera to either of the conferences so the few photos I have are either from a phone, from an HP photo booth or are courtesy of other people. In addition to the awesome women in these photos I was stoked to have gotten to hang out with Pam & Sharon from ThreeManyCooks, Kristen from Dine & Dish, Chuck from FoodGawker, Maria from Two Peas and Their Pod, Sean from Punk Domestics (and his partner!), Amber from Bluebonnets & Brownies, Vanessa from ChefDruck Musings, Alice from Savory Sweet Life, Laura Sampson from Hey, What’s for Dinner, Mom (i’m still eyin’ you, woman) and SOOOOO many other fabulous people that I would have a list a mile long if I tried to name everyone (assuming my short term memory could recall all of their names! Have I mentioned I have NO short term memory? Like, none.) Anyway, you really get buzzed off the free flowing love at these conferences.
Moral of the story: don’t be shy, meet new people, stay positive, work hard, live passionately and be open to the love fest that is life (and food blogger conferences!). I love all of you guys that I’ve met over the past few months and can’t wait to reconnect in the future… especially when I head out on the FPD book tour in two weeks! (I’ll do a whole post about that in a few days!) Xoxo!