Disclaimer: You know when toddlers drop the word “fuck” for the very first time and everyone laughs so they keep saying it? That’s like me, except I’m 39 years old and really should know better by now. If you’re stifling the urge to stick a bar of soap in my gob right now then this might not be the article for you.
Have you ever had a moment in your adult life where you feel like a kid who is sitting at the grown-ups’ table? Everyone else is using the correct cutlery to eat their fusion-cuisine made from unpronounceable superfoods, and you’re there finger-feeding yourself cocktail frankfurts and chicken nuggets with tomato sauce.
I had one of those moments this week, when I attended a national conference called ProBlogger.
I know what you’re all thinking….
WHY THE FUCK WERE YOU EVEN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE HUGZILLA?!
You don’t need to know all the boring details, suffice to say that most people attend ProBlogger because they want to learn about things like list-building and SEO, ways to promote their businesses or how to make fuckloads of money from the internet in general.
The keynote speakers were all dynamic storytellers, and their journeys invariably ended with internet fame, a bunch of random catchphrases and piles of cash. (By way of comparison, my triumphant story leaves me over $1000 in the hole to attend a blogging conference for a blog that earnt approximately $0 last year, and the catchphrase “Thank fuck for credit card interest-free periods”)
We’re talking about people who call themselves change evangelists and entrepreneurs and who start approximately 95% of their networking event conversations with the phrase “When I launched my first start-up…” Essentially, they are enthusiastic go-getters with goals, passions and a burning ambition to make their mark in the world.
TL DR; Successful people.
I don’t give a fuck about SEO, I have no business to flog and I am in absolutely no position to make any money whatsoever from this blog, unless I start a Patreon account where people start paying me upwards of $10 every time I say the word “fuck”. A reverse swear jar, if you will.
So why was I even there?
I was there for the friendships and free booze.
It shames me somewhat to say that this is actually 100% true, and I remember making the comment to someone halfway through the conference that it felt like I was a kid who was sitting at the adults’ table. Because I was.
The room was full of confident, successful people with their entrepreneurial inspo and their business savvy and the drive to leverage their content machine to build a unique personal brand and become a fully self-actualised multipotentialite*.
And then there was little old me with my shitty little blog and my fuck-all social media following in the same room as people who are on a casual first-name basis with the ALDI CEO, because that dude literally pays their fucking bills.
(Side note: ALDI, why no piles-of-cash love for me? My viral article “5 Ways That ALDI Fucking Hates You” was the greatest advertisement for a brand since George Clooney popped that first Nespresso pod. According to my new potty-mouth Patreon account you are currently in back-dated arrears to the effect of $100 dollars, for the 10 times I said fuck in that article)
Anyhoo, so these people are totally winning at life and smashing it when it comes to the enigmatic art of successful adulting. Conversely, I spent the entire conference trying to hide from people who had that look of burning ambition in their eyes, because I desperately wanted to avoid having those awkward first conversations with them.
You know what I feel like in those conversations? I feel like a toddler who has just taken one of their crappy artworks over to the grown-up table. Of course, being well-versed in the appropriate social niceties the adults fawn all over it with kindness and exaggerated admiration, when what they’re really thinking is “WTF even IS that shit?!”
Scene: Morning tea break outside the conference room. Hugzilla has just successfully crowd-surfed over a group of wellness bloggers to get to the last of the donuts. In the midst of her post-glaze orgasmic delight she accidentally stumbles into a conversation. The polite stranger is well-known on the international speaking circuit and has recently published 26 bestselling books, with titles like “How to Make Money Doing Absolutely Sweet Fuck-All’.
Successful person: So, what is your blog?
Me: It’s called Hugzilla. It’s a mummy blog. A piss-taking mummy blog.
Successful person: Oh, that’s nice….
*eyes glaze over with affectionate condescension*
How many followers do you have?
Me: Ummm, I only have like 1000 followers….
Successful person: Oh, how ADORABLE! I shit bigger social media followings than that before breakfast.
Of course they don’t actually say or do or think ANY of that, because they are all warm and generous and lovely people: that’s just the way it plays out in my paranoid loser head, because I am a paranoid loser. None of that actually happens in real life, just in the stupid pile of greige mush that passes for my brain.
So that was my ProBlogger experience – eating metaphorical cocktail franks at the adult table and sipping free champagne with these awesome bitches. And I’d do it all again.
(Except for the time where I accidentally walked into the men’s toilets and made direct eye contact with an old guy pissing at the urinal. And when I lost my laptop at the airport. Those two things can eat a dick)
(Left to right: Bec from The Plumbette, Mumma McD from Toilets Aren’t for Turtles, Annoying Twat from Some Ugly Slag, Emily from Em Hawker Blog, Amy from Handbag Mafia, Tash from Gift Grapevine, Rachel from Parenting Central, Bec from Seeing the Lighter Side and Jo from You Had Us at Hello)
(* YES, the term “multipotentialite” is an actual thing that came out of the conference and I simply ADORED that speaker. Her name is Emilie Wapnick and you should go to her site Puttylike, because it is a lot more interesting than the steaming pile of cynical turds that passes for this blog)