When You Feel Like a Kid Who is Sitting at the Grown-Ups’ Table

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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.

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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….

Pro.

Blogger.

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.

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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.

Unlike me.

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.

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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.

Me:

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<end scene>

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)

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(Left to right: Bec from The Plumbette, Mumma McD from Toilets Aren’t for TurtlesAnnoying Twat from Some Ugly SlagEmily from Em Hawker BlogAmy 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)

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98 thoughts on “When You Feel Like a Kid Who is Sitting at the Grown-Ups’ Table

  1. You are TOTALLY a multipotentialite!! You could combine your disparate passions for 90’s op shop fashion, punk girl bands, bathroom renovations and meat cake recipe development into one SUPERBLOG – think of the sponsored post potential!!!!!
    Thanks for the belly laughs mate, what an awesome weekend xx

  2. A) I want a reverse swear jar
    B) I hope they don’t film their shit to their 1000 people
    C) You didn’t pay $1000 just for a floor picnic with me?
    D) You’re just honest & these are the main reasons everyone goes!

  3. Glad you fun Hugzy. And you look great in that photo. Not an ugly slag AT ALL. I feel still feel like a kid playing my ABBA records and singing into a hairbrush all the time with everything. Feels like I’m pretending. Love your work.

  4. Laughing so much at this post. Loved to have finally met you and I will be honest, I came for the networking and catching up with friends. I hope ALDI sponsors your blog. I loved that post. X

  5. This is how I feel at any event that requires me to know stuff / be professional (e.g. work) or hang around people who are famous for their amazingly positive impact on the world coz I just feel dumb and incompetent. I know neither of us are dumb or incompetent… we are just paranoid. 😜 PS That photo of everyone at the end is giving me massive FOMO feels.

  6. Want to know a secret? Almost ALL the pbevent attendees feel that way. Even some of the speakers. Swear to god! I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet you there 😊

  7. I love ProBlogger but the trouble is I only go there for the camaraderie as well. I haven’t got the talent/drive/originality/mentalness to be a successful blogger so it’s all about the social for me. I hope you missed me a tiny bit this year. You probably didn’t. Oh well.

  8. I love that you’re represented by Gwyneth Paltrow (possibly before her interest in vaginal steaming became a thing…or maybe during, idk).
    I also dug Emily Wapnick and am getting us shirts that say multipotentialite 😉

  9. I have to say that’s part of the reason I couldn’t justify heading to Problogger this year – I’m never going to be a pro blogger or have a start up or be rich & internet famous. But I’m truly sorry I couldn’t be in your posse of awesome bitches this year… 😦

  10. You got a donut?! I was gutted to get to the table and miss out on one (or three as I later found out a few greedy guts had). Meeting and hanging with you and the gals was an absolute highlight. Hope to do it all again next year. I found a bar voucher in my purse I forgot to use.

  11. This is exactly how I felt last year at PB, just without the donuts. Although I did see the donuts on IG and the FOMO was real. The best bit about PB is being with your people, wish I had been in that pic with your posse. ALDI need to get their shit together and sponsor you STAT! While you’re waiting to be Prime Minister you can be their brand ambassador…

  12. And with that…I would almost book next year in advance. Simply for the donuts and champagne & a bloody good laugh at myself!

  13. You’re hilarious! You keep me reading.
    I think you’re doing an awesome job.
    I also feel like the kid at the big table a lot in my job….I think a lot of people do?

  14. Firstly SEO – who gives one? Too boring for words. Secondly, glad you met all the right people. That table would be who I’d be gravitating towards too. Thirdly, adults are boring. We went to a dinner party with people our age and I looked around at one point and thought ‘who are these people and when did they get so old?’ So you know, the world needs more toddlers to show off their artwork. It’s called keepin it real!

  15. I went to one pb and enjoyed it mostly for the inspiration and the people (although as an introvert who always feels awkward and left out I find myself wandering hoping someone will talk to me). Based on that I could not justify the money for the sake of hanging with awesome people but every year wish I had. Wish there was a cheap ticket for those who just want the connecting part.

  16. I must listen to that girl Emily when the audio comes out. It’s all about the camaraderie and meeting people in real life…. I’m also a bit intimidated by people out to make money fast, and I’m SO much older than them…. but people writing about their real lives in their real way is what real blogging is. My Hello Sydney Kids is a website not a blog, if you know what I mean…. writing real stuff requires real courage.

    • Honestly, I thought she was amazing and she seems to be the speaker that everyone is talking about. Seems to divide people though – you either love what she had to say or hated it. She was such a warm speaker though. Her delivery was great.

  17. Great post. I didn’t get as much from the actual ProBloggery but of ProBlogger this year, but had the best time anyway. Because people. xx

  18. How did you manage to get all the bloggers I love to stalk in the one photo? Especially that Annoying Ugly Twat chick? Fuck, if you’re not a mulitpotentialite (spelling? I didn’t PB so I can’t really comment on that officially) there’s no real hope for the rest of us. Glad you had an awesome time except for bag of dicks bit.

  19. You do realise that others (like me) think about you like that? When I introduced myself to you at dinner on Saturday night I felt like a bit of an interloper interrupting to say ‘Hi, I wanted to meet you!’

    I’m not prone to fan-girling or fainting fits, but get easily intimidated and feel a little intrusive and self-conscious a lot of the time!

    • Oh really, that’s sweet. LOL. It’s such a social minefield, isn’t it? I did the same with Smaggle last year. Too terrified to talk to her and kicked myself afterwards. I managed to meet her at another event and she was the nicest person ever. Gosh we’re funny sometimes, aren’t we?

  20. Gawd I am ashamed to tell you how many followers I have so instead I will tell you the more impressive number of my unfollowers , ta da 7,484,325,376 roughly but then I could be kidding myself and there are probably more. Regardless I am going to Pro Blogger 2017 to learn how to become fabulous but I will also pack my drinking goggles in case everyone is already fabulous. I might have to pack two pairs just in case one pair of goggles isn’t enough. Hope to see you there x

  21. I would have loved to have hung out with you awesome bitches. What you described above is how I felt at the Problogger I went to two years ago. I haven’t been back since. I seriously need to read up on multipotentialite or whatever it is. Everyone is talking about it!

  22. “Have you ever had a moment in your adult life where you feel like a kid who is sitting at the grown-ups’ table?” I’ll stop you right there. The answer is: every single day. x

  23. Loved reading this…and I too think YOU are a bloggy superstar …. Anyway, I went to one PB and it was a one day event in Melbs and I haven’t been to one since. Mind you, I loved meeting bloggers and had lots of pics as memories. I minded Caz and Craig’s then baby while they spoke. I will always be “grandma”!!

  24. Love it – not you feeling like a piece of steaming shit but the solidarity of being there – I’ve felt that way attending Problogger before, perhaps with less swearing and humour than you muster so well, and more ‘woe is me’ wallowing. I didn’t got to PB this year (did you miss me, probably not). But I did get 30 hours solo in a mountain cabin and believe me that was bliss.

  25. Hahaha! I would so feel like that too, I get uncomfortable in large crowds and tend to shrink into myself a little until the wine comes out and then I am a very happy camper! I’ll totally share that free champagne with you one day! I’d be the Kiwi in attendance for the holiday and not the conference! #TeamIBOT

  26. I was hovering over the online sales for PB tickets and hit purchase the instant they went live . . . a couple of months later after costing it all up and realising it would be close to crippling financially I sold my ticket. I would love to go and meet some of my blogging mates in real life and eat donuts and drink wine but I don’t want to drop 1k to do so! Also, I feel like such a backyarder compared to some of these captains of blogging industry. I’m glad I saved my bucks and, you know, Judge Judy isn’t going to watch itself.

  27. I read this one earlier in the week but didn’t have a chance to leave a comment. How very dare I ?!?! I would feel the same I reckon, am definitely a small blog-fish in a giant blogging ocean… would have been fun to meet up with everyone though! JEALOUS! xx

  28. So FOMO looking at the pic. Last year for me although it was inspiring I actually came away thinking my blog is my creative space and I don’t want to make money from it! So it had the opposite effect. Would totally go again to catch up with everyone and eat again. Maybe next year. What about a bum bag movement? #simpleblackbumbags

    • Same here! It really cemented that I was on the right path in that sense. (but I actually took notes about stuff this year!). LOL. Loving your idea for a bum bag movement. I was born to lead this.

  29. Haha, admittedly the free booze and the socialising was a BIG part of why I went, but I tried to get all the information about all the things as well.

    I didn’t want to talk to people who seemed moderately important and knew what they were doing also. I kept thinking – okay, I’m going to have a crack at this networking thing…. and then just huddled back with our safe little group.

    • Yeah I did next to no networking this year but to be honest I met so many random bloggers last year it was really hit and miss anyway, and made no lasting connections. I preferred to develop my existing relationships this year!

  30. Dude, I don’t read many parenting blogs because well, I’m not a parent but I religiously read yours. One for the swear words (fucking awesome!) and two, for the laughs. Who cares if you have *only* 1000 followers…you make us all laugh. As for PBEvent, while I did experience massive FOMO, the one time I did go, I was so overwhelmed, I couldn’t blog for at least 2 weeks after. Stage fright or something like that. Maybe if I have funds next year, I’ll think about going. But I’m going to be a bit poor what with the move and everything.

    • Thank you so much. This makes me SO happy to read. I have struggled all year with feeling typecast as a parenting blogger and have recently decided to just write whatever the hell I want. Thank you xx

  31. One of those “I can’t believe I only just found your blog” cliche comments, becuase there will be 101 comments that are better than this one. But, it’s still true. And the imposter syndrome is strong as fuck over in this corner too. But with less followers. And less blogging conferences to attend. (Unless “knitting is good for the soul”) counts as a conference. Meg.

  32. I felt like I only just floated around the edges of the conference because I was so hung up on my talk. And haters gonna hate, you’re one of the wittiest and funniest bloggers I know and MAN can you write!!!

    • Thanks Em! I can totally understand being preoccupied by the presentation. I bet it felt so awesome to walk off that stage so you could relax and enjoy yourself. For the record, you looked like a natural up there. Was one of the most entertaining sessions of the entire conference x

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