A week and a half ago I did something that I hadn’t done in a very long time.
I spent an entire weekend away from my family.
What a scary thought. Seriously. Because over the past few years my personal identity has become so wrapped up in teaching and caring for my children that I really had forgotten what it was
to just be me.
Who am I? Really?
So when an old friend emailed me a couple of months ago to say, “Let me send you to the 2:1 Conference,” I almost said no.
I looked for a way to say no.
I double, triple, and quadruple checked with my husband to see if maybe there was a scheduling conflict.
I rationalized about the cost of a hotel room and agonized over the thought of leaving my better half alone with our unpredictable crew.
I had visions of them living on soda crackers and tearing each other to pieces (don’t know why, since I don’t even know what soda crackers are…are they the same as saltines?).
I tried to say “no” and yet I knew deep down that my friend was being led to minister to me, and that it was my job to say “yes.”
I got my ticket, reserved a room, made a menu for the family and made sure they had all the necessary ingredients in the house (at least I knew they wouldn’t starve).
That didn’t stop me from worrying myself silly and convincing myself in the weeks leading up to it that it was all a horrible mistake.
I went. And I’m so glad that I did.
There are so many things that spoke to me at 2:1, but I just want to talk about one thing right now. The thing that makes me want to go again next year.
I’m a wallflower, y’all.
I’m the quiet, reserved introvert, the one they always accused of being rude for not participating in the small talk before school. Because I must be stuck up or something, right?
It’s not that I don’t like people. I just don’t talk unless I’ve got something to talk about. And I never quite know what to do with my face. And then there’s that ADD thing.
So here I am, at this conference, full of people I’d never before met in real life. I’ve met some of them online. Read many of them. But face-to-face is quite a different thing. And I know I’m a weirdo. I am.
But I felt accepted in a way that I’ve never felt before (outside of my own family). And I found myself freely conversing with people I was meeting for the first time about things I don’t normally talk about. And it was ok. It was all good.
And I didn’t feel judged. Or rejected. Or inferior. Or any of those things.
Acceptance. Love. Support. Understanding. Yes, I did feel all of those things.
I was right where I was supposed to be.
I met some wonderful ladies and I’m enjoying continuing our connections online.
As for what I learned, I’m still processing that. Some changes are coming in me. And I’m working on a couple of projects, too:
- I’m going to be working with some other bloggers to put together something this month for Ichthyosis Awareness Month…more on that shortly.
- I’m brainstorming something else (something extra special) that I’m hoping to share with you sometime in the next few weeks.
Have you ever attended a conference that really spoke to your heart?