January 30, 2011

What I Didn’t See at BlissDom 2011


Blissdom 2011

My first creative photo thanks to Blissdom Photo Workshop

I spent much of the last week at the Blissdom Conference in Nashville. I learned what most of the pictures and letters mean on my new Nikon D3100 camera, thanks to Mishelle who was able to teach me how to use my camera. This isn’t a post about me and my new-found photography skilz, but I had to tell you this because the photo at the top was actually taken by me. I think it’s pretty darn creative! Don’t expect that much awesome all the time. I’m just learning.

What this post really is about is all the things I didn’t see at Blissdom. When you spend 3 or so days with anything more than about 15 women you start to doubt yourself and find all the flaws. And by ‘you’ I really mean me, but it sounds better to talk about myself in the collective and makes me feel like I’m not the only one who does this. Anyway, you start to pick yourself apart and that little voice inside your head starts to get louder and louder.

This was my second Blissdom conference. I knew it would be a convergence of women bloggers who were beautiful, tall, thin, perfectly coiffed, confident, funny, smart, sweet, kind, fashionable, have good hair, white teeth, great clothes, a zillion twitter followers, fancy cards, cute shoes, and so much more. I also knew I probably wasn’t going to be ‘the awesome’ I pretend to be while typing away on my fancy MAC (which really isn’t fancy when compared to the really fancy ones I saw at Blissdom).

Why would I write about what I didn’t see? Because if I didn’t see it, chance are others didn’t either. And that means that you don’t have to fret and wonder and engage in self flagellation and negative self-talk. It mean you don’t have to feel apologetic or say I’m sorry either.

I didn’t see you were worried about a million other things in your life.

I didn’t see you didn’t have the time or money to get your hair cut or colored.

I didn’t see that the dress you were wearing has been in your closet for ages.

I didn’t see you dying on the inside because you were nervous.

I didn’t see your shoes were new or old.

I didn’t see your top had stains from baby spit up on it.

I didn’t see your camera was fancy.

I didn’t see your earrings were the same ones you wear every day.

I didn’t see that your camera was 10 years old.

I didn’t see you were so anxious about meeting people that you really wanted to crawl under the table and hide.

I didn’t see that you just got your business cards made because you totally spaced you’d need some.

I didn’t see that you gained a few pounds.

I didn’t see your nail polish was smudged or chipping.

I didn’t see your fear that someone will find out your husband lost his job.

I didn’t see that your teenager is struggling with drugs and you’re scared.

I didn’t see your every waking moment is spent worrying about ____________ .

I didn’t see you skipped going to the gym that day.

I didn’t see you’ve spent the last months/years in therapy.

I didn’t see your laptop was 2 years old.

I didn’t see you really should have done the laundry last week.

I didn’t see your photos weren’t perfect.

I didn’t see the imperfect skin.

And for that matter, I didn’t see you just spent $500 to get perfect skin.

I didn’t see that you write in incomplete sentences, have horrible grammar or can’t spell.

I didn’t see that you believed you didn’t belong here.

I didn’t see your gray hair, your wrinkles, your fat, your scars.

I didn’t see your flaws or your faults.

I saw you. I saw your beautiful smile. I saw your eyes, filled with joy and excitement. I saw your heart, full of love for all the friends you met and were going to meet.

I just saw you. I loved you the moment we met.

And I hope you just saw me, too.



Real Life Sarah January 30, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Oh, I loved this Sara! It’s so true that we worry about all these things, but it’s just delightful to be in everyone’s presence. Most people don’t even notice the things that make you cringe, because they are just so happy to be spending time with people who “Get” them. Thanks for writing this.

Crayon Wrangler January 30, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I saw YOU!

I saw the YOU whose hands fluttered with nerves but you pushed through.
I saw the YOU who admitted that you were scared.
I saw the YOU who had a role of a teacher and embraced the role of a student.
I saw the YOU that smiled boldly at someone new.
I saw the YOU that embraced a friend.
I saw the YOU that I love.

Mishelle Lane January 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm

What a beautiful and genuine post. I saw you, and I was so glad I did!

Amy January 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I saw a beautiful, kind and generous woman named Sara.

Julie January 30, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I love this. And I loved seeing you again. It is so true that we focus on the things that are not important… but when it comes down to it in the end, it’s all about connecting and relationships. Beautiful words you have here! 🙂

Kate @ Songs Kate Sang January 30, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Oh, this is so sweet! Love it.

Mara ~ Kosher on a Budget January 30, 2011 at 7:18 pm


What a perfect post, Sara! Thanks for writing it 🙂

Jess January 30, 2011 at 7:50 pm

I would like to say that, even though I wasn’t in your presence to have you not notice all of those things about me, this post resonates as a perfect reflection of how you regard everyone you know. That’s what I love so much about you, Sara. 🙂

Shell January 30, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I love, love, love this post! It’s so true- it was just all about community and not about the little details that we were all worried about.

Living the Balanced Life January 30, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Oh, this was so beautiful! We are so hard on ourselves and we worry so much about what others are thinking of us, of what we are wearing, of what we are saying. We as women put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect when inside we are all scared that everyone else won’t see us as perfect. But none of us are perfect! What a mess! We just need a place to feel comfortable being ourself. And Blissdom did a pretty good job of being that place!

Ellen - Love That Max January 30, 2011 at 8:35 pm

I LOVE THIS. It is so true. Sara, you are the real deal. I adored meeting you, and wish we had more time to talk. We did not finish our Thursday night conversation. And I must say, “beautiful, tall, thin, perfectly coiffed, confident, funny, smart, sweet, kind, fashionable, have good hair, white teeth, great clothes, a zillion twitter followers, fancy cards, cute shoes, and so much more” fits me perfectly, except I’m not sure why you think I’m tall?

Molly January 30, 2011 at 9:09 pm

This was wonderful. Thank you for saying it all. (And I loved meeting you.)

Yoly January 31, 2011 at 5:12 am

Great, great post Sara! I’m so grateful that we got to meet IRL.

Rachel January 31, 2011 at 11:24 am


I saw you and I adore you.
You are gracious and lovely and smart and funny and intelligent and you have giant heart, glorious smile and a wonderful embrace.

I am SO thrilled that I got to really meet you this year

Leisa Hammett January 31, 2011 at 11:46 am

Nice, Sara. Good to SEE YOU again this year.

jes January 31, 2011 at 11:48 am

Sara, so glad we met. This post was incredibly uplifting – it’s exactly what we all don’t see, and hope that others don’t see. None of us are perfect, and I’m glad we can openly admit that. 🙂

Holly Hamann January 31, 2011 at 12:23 pm

This is my favorite Blissdom post by far! Well done and beautifully said, Sara! Loved seeing you and sharing a big hug!

Kim/hormone-colored days January 31, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Love it! So great hanging out with you and thanks for #Blissmitzvah.

Kristina January 31, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Sara – I love this post and I LOVE that I got to meet you in person. You are made of win and awesome sauce and there is nobody, NOBODY, that I would rather be smooshed in the back of a car with than you!

Katherine at Postpartum Progress January 31, 2011 at 12:37 pm

What a beautiful post. Thank you.

Sarahviz January 31, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Absolutely perfect!

Erica Mueller January 31, 2011 at 12:49 pm

And I saw YOU squashed into a tiny little car with 5 other hilarious women (one of them on your lap) and I love that we had those moments. 🙂

You are so beautiful, welcoming, and warm… deff one of my favorite people to meet this year!

Denise January 31, 2011 at 2:51 pm

It was so nice to finally meet you and SEE YOU in person Sara!

Mama Kat January 31, 2011 at 4:15 pm

It’s so true! We’re so busy worrying about what people will see about us that we don’t realize that none of us see anything critical about the other because we’re too busy being critical of ourselves!


Great post!

Holly January 31, 2011 at 5:52 pm

What beautiful way to wrap up the weekend. It was such a pleasure to meet you. You are beautiful inside and out. I can’t wait to meet again.

Hollee January 31, 2011 at 7:38 pm

My Blissdom roomie … I so admire your courage. I knew there were layers, and I felt so honored that you shared with me, and then I had the privilege of sharing with you. Meeting you in person was a Blissdom highlight for me. Thank you so much for your overwhelming support. It means so much to have friends like you to count on:) xoxo

Elaine January 31, 2011 at 10:19 pm

Now I’m sorry that we didn’t get to meet last week Sara! This was a lovely, heartfelt, genuine post. I’m glad you enjoyed Blissdom and hopefully we’ll have the opportunity again to meet. 🙂

@barbarajones January 31, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Chills. Total chills. Thank you for being you and for all of your love and support at BlissDom. xoxo

Fiona @banteringblonde February 1, 2011 at 12:20 am

This is a super post – thanks for this!

erin margolin February 1, 2011 at 4:15 am

Oh Sara! What an incredible post!
I saw you.
I just didn’t see you ENOUGH.
And I’m sad.
And everywhere I went? I was hearing all about Saving4SomedaySara.
I was privileged enough to meet you!

Alli February 1, 2011 at 6:53 am

One word: Awesome!

Kelly@Childhood February 1, 2011 at 7:41 am

You know I saw you.

*much love*

Craig February 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

Your “Un”vision is incredibly wise, true, and insightful. You “didn’t” see right through me. Or you did. It’s confusing a little. Could be the Blissdom plague ravaging my brain though.

This was magnificent.

A blessing. Thank you.

Jessica February 2, 2011 at 9:53 pm

Loved this post. Thank you for it.

Becca February 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Awh, I love this. And it is SO true.

Maybe we could get this on the Blissdom opening keynote…


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