Thursday, June 11, 2015

The End (BEA Recap)

I am so devastated sharing this post, because this means that my BEA recaps are over. And you know what? I miss it. So. Much. I miss my friends, I miss geeking out about books in a place where it's normal, I even miss New York a little (but only a little). There are things I wish I'd done differently, but overall? I'm so damn proud of myself for doing this, and I had the most amazing experience. <3

*****

This day, man. This day sucked so freaking much. Once we checked out of the hotel with our luggage, we weren’t sure how we were going to carry it all to the bus station. The walk was only about ten minutes, but our bags were HEAVY because of the books. I don’t know how we did it; the walk was slow-going and such, but we made it to the bus station in one piece. Sore, tired, stressed. But in one piece.

Have I told you yet how awful the NY bus station is? Because it is. It’s huge and ridiculous and the signs aren’t great at telling you where to go. It took us a LONG time to find Shannon’s gate. Val and I went and got some food (I had a strawberry dessert type of food and it was the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted), and then when we got back, it was time for Shannon to go. Our goodbye was quick and rushed. Val and I still had a bit to wait, but I was so stressed out that I could barely find the energy to socialize. And honestly I had to keep myself in check because all I wanted to do was cry. It was overwhelming, my luggage was over 50 lbs so I had to pay extra (luckily I had enough cash on me), and I wasn’t even sure I had the right gate. Val and I had a quick, horrible goodbye too. After she left, I had another like hour so I just lined up for the bus anyway (because if you line up early, you get your pick of the seats AND THAT IS A SMALL COMFORT TO HAVE). Once the bus boarded, it was completely full, but at least I got to sit by someone nice. Also, I totally cried as soon as I got on it and couldn’t stop for over an hour. It was hard. I had a lot of emotions built up and I just wanted to go home.

The bus ride sucked, like always. I knew it would, but it was better this time around. I hated the layover in Cleveland because it freaked me out. Once I was back on that bus, I felt better. And when we reached Michigan, I almost started crying again. I had a transfer in Detroit, but thankfully the wait wasn’t long. After that, I had a few hours until we got to Grand Rapids, where I met my mom and older brother at the station. It was SO great seeing my mom, especially. I think she was relieved, to be honest. She was extremely worried and panicky about me doing this, and she couldn’t let me out of her sight at the station. My brother suggested a Chinese buffet, and I almost said no because I just wanted to go home and sleep. BUT I hadn’t eaten like anything in over 24 hours, so I felt that food really needed to happen. I told them a bit about New York and what we did and where we went. It was really nice. It was another hour before we got home, and our dog went CRAZY when she saw me! The cats were out too and happy (but I’m pretty sure that’s just because they wanted me to feed them).

And yeah, I ended up not sleeping until after midnight (so I’d been up for over 24 hours by then, omg). I was too wired. My aunt and cousin stopped by earlier, and we got ice cream. Apparently a bunch of family members now know about my blog and such so this is weird. But maybe cool. My aunt asked if I had to review all the books I got and I was just like: WHERE DID YOU HEAR ABOUT ME DOING THAT. Yeah, so. But she was curious about it, so maybe I should give people a chance with it. But I still feel like it’d be hard to explain what I do on here. And I don’t think they’d understand how much this means to me.

Meeting Val and Shannon was the absolute BEST and they’ve become true friends to me. Being a part of this community is amazing, and I don’t know what I’d do without it. I never would have even considered going to NY alone if it weren’t for those two and how much I wanted to go to BEA. As much as I hated the bus ride, this pushed me in so many ways and I got out of my comfort zone. I traveled ALONE. I became a lot more assertive and confident (and probably annoying, but whatever, the bus people will just have to get over my incessant questions). I didn’t even feel self-conscious! Usually I’m so worried about how I look, what I say, and what I wear. But it never bothered me, and I actually loved wearing dresses with leggings (I should do it more often). I was accepted for who I was, without judgment. You see, I had been scared people would find me lacking and they'd be like: THIS is who I've been talking to on social media? But not in a nice way. I had seriously been worrying about so much for nothing because I felt really included and that people WANTED to talk to me. And damn, I wish I’d been more social and met more people (bloggers especially), but I’m proud of myself for doing this! It was a wildly independent and amazing experience, and I'm so glad I went!

(But I’m just never going to ride a bus again).



*****

I hope y'all liked hearing about my BEA adventures! Tomorrow I have a blog tour stop scheduled and then I'll get back to my regular program of reviews, discussions, and the like. I'm also coming up with new ideas, and I want to make some changes on the blog this summer. So we'll just have to see what happens. :D

6 comments:

  1. Oh Holly. <3 So proud of you for taking the bus, especially since I know how much it sucked, haha. But you totally did it and conquered and yeah. <3 And gosh, that's a lot of layovers and delays....to me anyway. That'd be annoying. Those would freak me out.

    Oh no, your family knows about the blog! Haha, time to tell them a fake url. Just kidding, that wouldn't work anyway. I totally get why you're a bit hesitant over them knowing, especially when it's "your" blog and you get personal and everything. And like you said, it means a lot, they might not understand. But if they're supportive of you, that's awesome.

    My parents know I have a blog and a couple other people, but it's not a big thing. Except for my parents and that's just because I get excited when I'm approved for a book or win a giveaway and they know I get them from publishers/bloggers.

    Anyway! That really sucks about your guys' quick goodbyes. :( That's so sad. But you guys met and hung out for like three days.<3 That's amazing. I'm also amazed you all got your luggage to the station because you had like….25 pounds of book, at least. I think. Haha.

    Also, you should know I thought of the songs "Goodbye Until Tomorrow" from The Last Five Years and Soon from All Dogs Go To Heaven.

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  2. That bus sounds incredibly traumatic but I'm extremely proud of you for being able to go on the bus ride that entire time. So glad to hear you were able to make some great friends through the blogging community which is my favourite part about it. Thanks for the great recaps Holly!

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  3. SAYING GOODBYE IS THE WORST THING THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN.

    I just finished Mosquitoland, and they talked about liquid goodbyes. So Holly, I'm just letting you know that was only a liquid goodbye and not solid and I WILL SEE YOU SOON

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  4. I AM NEVER RIDING A BUS AGAIN EITHER!! F Greyhound! I am so very very sad I missed you and Shannon. I kept wanting to tweet you guys but just got swept away in the current of BEA. NEXT YEAR ITS GOIN DOWN!!!
    <3 Britt

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  5. Damn it, I am crying. I like Val's "liquid goodbye" though! In case you were wondering, I have already looked into flights. Hotels are next ;) Because to be honest, the only thing that made me NOT sob when I had to leave was knowing I'd see you guys next year. Although Val is kind of messing with that, but... yeah.

    I do agree about the social piece. I think we were newbies though, so it is okay :) Next year, we will be much more comfortable and much more able to socialize because we won't be completely scared- only partially ;)

    I cannot type any more words because my eyes are all watery. I am sad that your recaps are over. I am sad that BEA is over. But, I am happy it happened, so there's that!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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  6. Goodbyes sound so HARD. I know I would've cried too.

    I think . . . two of my family members know about my blog? My brother discovered me on Goodreads and told my mom the title of my blog, and she got a button made with the title as a Christmas gift. I also think one of my close friends knows because she follows me on Twitter (though she's never on), but we've never talked about it. Your sentence "And I don’t think they’d understand how much this means to me" explains why I talk about my blog offline.

    I'm so glad that you had an amazing time at BEA!!

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Comments always make me smile. :) Seriously. Even if you comment on the post weeks or months later, it makes my day! So don't hesitate to leave your thoughts even if it's been a long time since the post was published. I'll try to reply to you, especially if you ask a question, but sometimes life happens. But I do read and appreciate every single one of them because I know how hard it can be to find the time or energy to comment. So a heartfelt THANK YOU for brightening my day when you do. <3