I’m sitting on the floor of the lobby of University Center, a dorm for the plethora of universities in this part of downtown Chicago. It’s been a few years since I have found myself plopped down with a crowd of people, socializing, typing and resting.
This morning as I was checking in at WordCamp, I texted my friend and frequent conference buddy Erica about this magical place I found myself. I texted her this morning about how great it was to be at a conference where no one had any fucks to give about appearances.
Let me be clear, it isn’t that I showed up to a conference of slobs. They were here, too. But it was the fact that no one cared what I was wearing. The style of my hair didn’t have to be premeditated. I didn’t have to agonize over how I should do my makeup.
I got to show up and be me. Just nerdy me. With a top knot and leggings and orange canvas gym shoes. I winged my eyeliner because I could, not because I had legions of people to impress. Or worse, compare myself to.
Back to the floor. I’ve met people I never would have met if I was worried about what people were thinking about my outfit. I’m not worried what people will think about my cane if I end up needing it. I’ve had several offers of people to help me hack my cyborg parts.
I’ve talked about tattoos and PHP. I’ve talked about careers and families. I’ve talked about my blogs and other people’s podcasts. Sitting on the floor. Charging our phones. Being ourselves.