I did it and I’m back. I had a great time, most of the time. (The time I wasn’t appalled by my poor networking skills.)
I’m glad I went. It was a huge step outside my comfort zone and my first multi-day blogging conference. It’s something I needed to do, if only to prove I can. The above picture isn’t anywhere near the Ace because I was too nervous or busy to take a picture of the hotel while I was there. As luck would have it, I found another three letter word that starts with A to act as a stand-in. Palm Springs is accommodating.
I have to process the conference over the next few days–and catch up on my sleep–but there are some bits of the long weekend I remember.
- Lisa Congdon’s talk at Camp Mighty was my favorite, which says something because all the speakers were inspiring. She started off her talk by sharing she is a big introvert. I know the feeling. Then she spoke about her life and how she changed it, focusing on the last five years of explosive, prolific growth. It was inspiring to see how someone around my age folded themselves into a chrysalis and emerge changed and renewed. Come to think of it, that’s what her talk did to me. You can read her bio here and see what I mean.
- I despise talking about myself or being the center of attention. I’m better at making other people comfortable and getting them to talk about themselves. Every time someone asked what I did or who I was, I (i) stuttered, (ii) drew a blank, or (iii) redirected the question. Nicole was with me during most of my misery and became increasingly frustrated. At one point during our final dinner, I was mildly concerned she was going to broadside me with her butter knife after my brief and vague introduction to another blogger. One of the major goals of the conference was to meet and promote and grow. In that regard, I failed. I’ll have to practice in the mirror before the next conference I attend.
- I met Alice Bradley. She is charming and funny and kind, and she said I have great hair. She also offered to help me with any questions I might have about writing a book after I crashed and burned during a “share your five goals for the year” segment of the conference. (See above bullet point.)
- I love being home or, better stated, I love being with my family. I love where I am in my life, even though it’s not what I imagined. I am unapologetic about my commitment to putting my family first. A popular blog is great, but it’s not the end goal for me. I won’t be thinking about my twitter follower count on my death bed, and I doubt Saint Peter will ask for my Klout score before I walk through the gates. That said, I really need to work on socializing more. If I sound a bit down, it’s because I’m disappointed in myself. Also, tired. Really, really tired and regretting my decision to drive Mikey’s classmates on a field trip this week. What was I thinking?
If you are looking for a conference that forces you to write down your goals and formulate a plan to achieve them, this is the way to go. It wasn’t perfect, but this was the first go-round. I’m sure the event will be even better next year.