More

Everyone who goes to BlogHer has a different experience.  As someone said in a tweet that I can't find at the moment, "BlogHer is what you make of it". To some people it's a very social experience, for others professional. I keep a toe in both. I had wonderful personal moments (like meeting my Chatter friends) but I spent a lot of time with my head in the professional. I didn't walk away from BlogHer '10 with a revelation. I walked away with confirmation of something I've been thinking about for a long time.

I can do more.

I need to do more.

I am one of those people who went to university and got a degree I love dearly but it really didn't shuttle me into an instant job market. There just isn't a large need for anthropologist historians, especially ones that focused on archaeology and underground resistance movements in WWII. (Yes, I realize those topics are not related but they were fascinating and fun to study.)

So I bumbled around. I turned a job at the university bookstore into a job creating course materials. I turned that job (with the help of a course or two) into a technical writing career. The technical writing turned into project management. Project management was an excellent experience to have but the company I was at stopped being the right fit for me and I simply burned out and quit. I didn't know what to do. I needed some time to lick my wounds and figure out what I wanted to do, not just what would make me money. So I continued to blog and I found a few part-time jobs. I pick up the odd contract here and there.

But lately I've felt that I can do more. It is an odd combination of restlessness (I can do more) and being settled (buying a house makes me feel like I have a permanent base).

It's a feeling that has been creeping up for months but it cemented at BlogHer '10. Being around women -- accomplished, funny, smart, wonderful women - who are doing more put it in perspective. (Even if they all do like to say that I'm twelve. People, I look younger than I am. I can't help it.) Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I'd been able to start attending BlogHer before 2009. Would my drive have come back earlier? Because you, all of you, make me want to do more.

As I commented to someone, being there helped me realize that I know more than I often think I do. It made me remember that I've been doing some stuff  for a long time. I have a lot of thoughts stuffed into this head of mine and some of them are darned good thoughts. They need an outlet and I need to get them an outlet.

I also need to leave some baggage behind. I need to stop thinking that every opportunity is going to morph from something wonderful to being something twisted. That a few weeks of hard work isn't going to turn into the kind of grind that literally had me sobbing in the shower (what can I say, I am occasionally a cliche). And I need to remember that even if it gets to that point I still picked myself up, dusted myself off and stepped back into the grind and did a darned good job. I need to present myself in a way that better reflects all that I've done in addition to all that I can do. My resume currently does not do that.

I'm capable of doing more than I am, but I've been missing the drive to do it. I've not been presenting myself in a way that displays all that I'm capable of doing.

The drive is back. I can do more. I will do more. I'll need help and advice, but no one gets there alone. I need to ask for help. I need to work for that help. But I'm going to do it. I am.

Next year, at BlogHer '11 I want you to come up and ask me if I did more. Because the answer is going to be, "Yes. Yes I did." And if you want to do more I'll do everything I can to help you, too.

So thank you BlogHer. Thank you for reminding me that not only do I want to do more but that I'm capable of it.