I had been traveling for a few weeks until just a few days ago as I left Alaska on Christmas morning and wrote Did I Just Breakup with Alaska. I spent a week with family and friends in Phoenix. I then headed for a week to Vegas for the CES conference where I never saw my dear friend Sleep. What seems like months already, but has only been a week, was when I was in San Francisco and Napa Valley for my good friend, Robert Scoble’s 50th Birthday Weekend.
I had three events in three different states that wanted my attention and I had to choose which one to go to. There was Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas and Alaska Beer Week in Anchorage – both of which I wanted to be at. But I chose to attend a birthday party instead. I had to ask myself – in 5 or 10 years, which one would I remember the most? Which would impact me the most and which one would my presence be felt at?
I made the right choice. I have known Robert Scoble for years. I’ve read his tech articles and books before I met him in real life. I remember meeting him at my first Blogworld/NMX in Las Vegas when I first started blogging. It took him a couple years to remember my name. :)-
Then in 2012 at CES I was saying goodbye to this man that blew me away in front of the Bellagio when Scoble drove up in a limo. He yelled for me to get in, and I did. Champagne and dancing was really all I remembered of the rest of the night. It was one of those legendary Vegas nights that still seems like it was more out of a movie than real life.
I would run into Robert many times over the next couple years and each time I wanted to get to know him and not his public persona. Boy, was that a hard thing to do. At first, to be honest, I wondered where that real man was hiding. Where was the substance behind those eyes? I had a hard time relating to this party animal as I am a much more serious soul. And that is really what he was – he was always the center or the ringleader of the party.
Everyone seemed to want to party with Robert Scoble. Even me at times. But really, I wanted to talk to him and our friends in a more quiet setting and with just a few people. I finally at SxSw in 2014 was able to have that chance. I felt like it was the first time I could really see the man inside the shell he had created. I saw an injured man beneath that facade.
At SxSw 2014 getting ready for the evening’s shenanigans. And there were many!
Robert is married to one of the most amazing women I have ever met, Maryam Scoble. She has this warmth and divine being that I just love being around. She soothes Robert’s soul which is really great to see. Maryam’s energy is one I wish I had – so open, inviting, and just a good soul to be around.
Robert, Andy, and Sam at the Ritz celebrating my 40th Birthday in style in April 2014!
I was blessed to hang out with both of them and some of our other friends for my 40th birthday in Half Moon Bay. Then I made the trek up to Alaska hoping I would see my friends soon. I missed them a lot when I left San Francisco.
Robert, Maryam, Andy, Ian, and Jeff with wine in hand cheering to another awesome 40 years.
Something happened though over the next six months that I never saw coming. Robert let his vulnerability show. He laid his life out on Facebook for the whole world to see. It was so raw that I cried as I read the story he had told me back in Austin. I was so proud of him for being so incredibly brave and vulnerable. He was meeting his demons and shame head on, and I really admired that.
I have a lot of demons that I just can’t admit on my blog. They are too personal. So when I see someone do what I am so scared to do, I can’t help but think they are a rock star.
I have watched from afar seeing Robert grow up this last year as he approached his 50th birthday. Yep, at 49 he grew into a man that I am happy to call a good friend.
Hanging out in Scott Jordan’s Pocketman Polaris Slingshot
During his birthday weekend people flew in from all over the world to see Scoble and spend time with him. So much love was shown to him and Maryam. I was pretty happy as well as so many of my best friends were there and I met a ton of new people to add to the list of amazing humans.
This is only half of the party – and my first Dronie 🙂
What none of us knew while we were enjoying his birthday shenanigans, was that Robert received a phone call during the celebration telling him that he had skin cancer. Cancer. That’s not a word anyone wants to hear, especially on your birthday.
If there is anyone in the world that truly knows how to party, it is Robert. Well, the day after his birthday he shocked the world again by joining Alcoholics Anonymous and saying no more to drugs and alcohol. He has had enough. I was stunned. Completely and utterly stunned.
And impressed. I respect him so much for acknowledging that he was lost in his own life and that he wanted to find the way out of the hole he had dug.
Robert lives his life out loud. He faces things head on now instead of ignoring them. He has taught me many valuable lessons this year. I don’t let the night quietly slip by, I am a woman who takes charge of her destiny and pushes forward when there is no path. Robert is the same way, tenfold.
One of Robert Scoble’s books:
Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy
Thank you Robert for inviting me to your birthday weekend in Napa, but more importantly, thank you for inviting me into yours and Maryam’s life.
Robert and Maryam Scoble
Photo Credit: Michael O’Donnell
I started this post to talk about that weekend in Napa, but the words about how beautiful and amazing everything were obviously was not what my mind wanted to talk about, apparently. 🙂 Here are a few pics though of the crazy good time I had.
Andy Grignon and Jason Nunnelley – two really awesome guys!
Elisa Camahort Page founded BlogHer and Andy Grignon invented the iPhone. I keep good company! Guess I need to do something earth shattering too!!
The amazing talented writer Brian Solis – I always learn more from his books than I ever let him know! 😉
D. Hustle sure taught me a lot about business in the short time we spent together. Very philosophical and always hustlin’ 🙂
Cheers to you, Robert Scoble for living a life less ordinary and living it so very out loud!