Definition of Fangirling:
^^ me most of FinCon16 ^^
I have this tendency to peruse the internet, usually on Saturdays, for a few hours, nonstop, because it’s my day off and I like learning/reading/watching all the things. That’s my life, friends. While doing this over the last few years, I’ve stumbled upon a lotttt of old Taylor Swift interviews, recipe gold mines, Friends outtakes, exercise routines I’ll never actually do, and many’a money blogs.
These money bloggers are just like us, I know that. But by the time you’re on the third, fourth — or tenth — page, reading their stories, their struggles and their achievements, it feels like you know them in real life. And that’s part of the charm of blogging: people put details about their lives on the internet to share with others. For them: it's accountability, perhaps. For us, the reader: it's solidarity.
Fangirling in Action
Two weeks ago, I got to join up with 1200 of my *closest* personal finance friends in San Diego for a money conference called FinCon. Made up of bloggers, podcasters, finance coaches, freelance writers and the like, we were all in one place to talk money, best practices and to share the “why” behind our online adventures.
Now, remember, I knew who a lot of these people were before we arrived — they're essentially personal finance celebrities. Combine this with my high tolerance for awkward situations, I practically fangirled my way through FinCon. Unintentionally, and slightly embarassingly.
I seriously made this face when I saw PT Money at the hotel elevator:
And when I saw Cait Flanders in-person, across the room, for the first time:
And after we chatted, I did this for hours:
And when Tonya Rapley sat at my lunch table:
And when I straight-up squealed Jessica Moorhouse’s name as she walked by in the hallway.
Yes, she actually jumped a little. That’s when I realized I had apparently zero chill and needed to, ahem, tone it down.
And when I recognized Mrs. Frugalwoods at breakfast and told her I knew who she was:
What am I, a stalker?! But she was cool about it, which is super nice of her (thanks for being nice, Liz!).
And when I saw Lauren Greutman in the hallway and congratulated her on her book release. Then I hugged her and walked away. I didn’t even tell her my name:
Whoops. Good one, Allea.
However, the biggest fangirl moment I had was when I saw Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist. I froze. Then I'm pretty sure I started mumbling ecstatically, “What is he doing here?! I wasn’t expecting this! He’s not a money blogger...." I was knocked off my rocker. You would have thought Taylor Swift had walked in the room:
And Joshua's as kind and genuine as you might hope. I got to chat with him — with all chill intact — the next day, and I’m encouraged by how he operates as a person and as a blogger.
The Best Part
Anyone: “Thanks for coming up and saying ‘hi’!”
Me: “Thanks for looking like your picture on the internet!”
Ha! I had not thought this through. It's fine.
In reality, these folks are normal. And so kind. And inclusive.
As weird as these interactions might have been (all my fault, guys, all my fault.), I’m blessed to be in the money blogging community. They've accepted me, impulsive fangirling and all.
During the newcomer session, I learned the mission of FinCon: "To support the movement that is reaching millions of people with a positive money message.” Among my friends back home, I’m the odd one who loves personal finance and helping her friends write cover letters (you know, while some people have other hobbies — like, basketball). But at FinCon, I’m with my people!
What stuck with me most from FinCon:
- Everyone at FinCon genuinely wants to help people manage their money well.
- Every.single.person is willing to talk with other strangers, make new friends, and share opportunities and ask questions (which I had a lot!).
I loved being in community with like-minded people who are just as nerdy about money as I am. I made so many new friends!
How about you?
It’s amazing: there’s a community for almost every group/hobby/niche you could imagine. And if there’s not, you could be the person to start one!