Prepare yourselves for an emotional post. I’ve been putting this off for a while because I just haven’t felt emotionally stable enough to write it, and the fact is, I just don’t think I am ever going to be unemotional about this topic so maybe I was meant to write it this way. It’s been over a month since I got home from New York City and it still feels like yesterday. Really. I don’t know if there is a saying for this or anything, but I always say “You don’t know what you are missing until you find it.” To me, there is nothing truer in the world than this statement. I didn’t know what my life was missing until I had friends that were passionate about the same things that I was. It makes me tear up thinking about it. It’s not like I haven’t had other friends before. But bookish friends are different. There is a passion and a connection there that goes beyond regular friendship. I am beyond attached to these people.
Last year I wrote a post about the timeline of events that went on during my days at BEA. I don’t think I want to handle it that way this time. It was just so much more of an enjoyable experience for me this year than last year for many various reasons. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed BEA last year but this year was just such a boost to my happiness, my blogging passion, and everything that has to do with my depression. It was like it didn’t exist while I was there. You cannot imagine what this is like for a person who has been combating this for almost their entire life.
When you have depression, it’s hard to leave the house. It’s hard to motivate yourself or leave your comfort zone. New York City is good for me. BEA is good for me. I have social anxiety, and even though I take pills for it and am mostly normalized, it’s easy for me to obsess over everything and be paranoid. But while I am in NYC for BEA, I am literally going all the time or spending time with people I love (or both) and there is no time to obsess over the little things. I wish it was longer than three days, honestly.
For someone who edits and values writing over life, and who loves to read, Book Expo America is paradise. It’s everything. Meeting authors and chatting with all your blogging friends and having convos about favorite books and characters and bookish feels is life-changing. There is nothing better. Meeting the people that you admire within an inch of your life…there is nothing else. I used to geek out over theme parks. Meh. Books and the people that write them are the reason I breathe.
Okay, so I lied. I’m going to do a quick timeline events so I cover the important things.
Wednesday evening I got into New York City and Jessie was the first blogger I got to meet. I waited for her flight at the airport and we cabbed it to the hotel together. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN. For the record, I fucking love Jessie. She is hilarious and so much fun to be around. She made me craugh until I almost peed at least two times. She and I got to sleep on bunk beds and I had her above me the entire time. I wish that was every night, I really do.
We met Bekka at the hotel and checked into the room and then went to Chinatown for dinner. So Bekka was the first co-blogger I met, and it was awesome. Dinner was awesome (dumplings!) but the cockroach wasn’t (ewww). After that we had to stop at K-Mart and pick up snacks and an air mattress.
That night, I went down to the hotel bar with KAT KENNEDY. Our rooms actually ended up right next door to each other, even though that was completely an accident. Meeting her was one of the highlights of my trip and one of my main reasons for going.
Waking up to the New York City skyline from my hotel room window (24th floor!) was absolutely brilliant. The Harlequin Teen breakfast was so much fun, and the first day of BEA was a whirlwind and an absolute blast. The Macmillan Happy Hour was in the same place as last year (The Houndstooth Pub) and I loved hanging out with all my blogging buddies. After that, Jessie, Bekka, and I met up with Lyn and Pixie and went to the Strand Bookstore. Here are some photos from the first day:
I don’t have a lot of photos from the second day, but it was by far the calmer of the two. I got to BEA at a decent hour and spend most of the day walking the floor with Lyn and waiting in lines. I worked like a BOSS to get all the books I wanted and Lyn got most of them too because we spent a lot of bonding time together. Later that night, Lyn and I went out for dinner with Kat, Steph, and Meg from Cuddlebuggery and Jen from the Bawdy Book Blog. I don’t have a photo of that, unfortunately, but it was a lot of fun! Lyn and I walked back to the hotel from the restaurant and accidentally came across a Pinkberry, which was magic because it was one of the things Lyn wanted to experience while she was there. After we got back, I went down to the hotel bar with Pixie for a beer. And that was the end of day two. Here’s a photo of our hotel room, which I LOVED:
The final day was BookCon and we were already debating not going, but when we got up in the morning and saw the photos on Twitter of the horde of people waiting in line, we decided to skip it. Many in our group were claustrophobic or dealing with social anxiety. We went to ship our books home at FedEx instead, and we ran into Christina who invited us to lunch at Burgers and Cupcakes. So it was a big group of awesome people (Gillian, Debby, Christina, Meg and her significant other, Pixie, Gillian, Lyn and me). I miss these girls so fucking much, you have no idea. After that, it was off to the Jefferson Market Library for the Kids’ Author Carnival. I have a lot of those on my Instagram as well as others from the trip. You can check those out if you want as I do not want to overwhelm you here, but I have a couple more from this day and then I am wrapping this up!
I had to leave the next day. There were lots of tears and I broke down over the thought of never seeing some of these people again. If you don’t already know, I am a super emotional person. All of these ladies are like the sisters I never had. Some of them live very far away and I don’t know when I will see them again, and those are the things I think about. Life is short, ya know? I don’t know when or even IF I will ever make it to Australia or Holland. It was very bittersweet for me. Hopefully I will have next year though. That’s really about all I can share because the rest of it is in my heart. But it changed my life this year. BEA was everything I thought it could be and more. I loved chatting and laughing in the hotel room late into the night and functioning on very little sleep and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I also grabbed some really great books and I am so excited to read almost ALL of them. Here’s a photo of my haul in case you missed it:
Until next year!