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You Make Your Own Conference, Bitches

Filed Under: Life
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Lego Super Woman

Image | levork

The whole way home I was thinking about different sage things I needed to write once I dug out Darwin, the laptop.

Then, as I was making my uninterrupted cups of coffee this morning, I had even more amazing things to share. Things that would blow your fucking mind. You would read those things and then just sit back, hit yourself in the forehead and speak aloud, “Yes! This is what I’ve been needing. This is what I’ve been meaning to say!” And then you’d want to give me a fist bump and say, “Good game!” or something.

Even as I was driving to pick up the kids, I fumbled with my phone in hopes of finding the “record memo” function. I never found it but I’m pretty certain it exists.

Instead of all of those things, you get this.

I’ve been to conferences.

I’ve cried at conferences. I’ve been overwhelmed at conferences. I’ve gotten nothing from conferences.

This was the first conference where I felt I obtained something meaningful. Something that I was excited by. Something I was inspired by. Something worth all of the bullshit.

I talked with some amazing women. Inspirational women. Women who humbled me. Women I won’t link to because I’m sure I will leave many out and I’d rather link to none than only link to some.

My own insecurities are the cause of that. I would be crushed if one of these women wrote a post and forgot about me. It would just reinforce my feelings that I don’t matter. That I wasn’t worth being included in these dinners. In these meetings.

I shared incredibly personal things. You shouldn’t be surprised since I routinely vomit personal things here.

Random meetings.

Random amazing meetings of minds. I feel you rolling your eyes. I’m cool with that. I hate that whole existential bullshit. And then I experienced it and I’m a believer. It is possible.

I blame all of this on Heather Solos.

Pick your roommate wisely, folks. They’ll make or break you. Heather made me this year. She kept me from hiding. She listened to me be dumb. She introduced me to her circle of fabulous women. She sat up with me until 0430 and shared Gardettos with me and really horrible Crystal Light and vodka drinks and we talked about personal stuff and cried like idiots and laughed like kids.

You get what you give at conferences.

You get what you chose to get out of conferences. You can either give freely and be vulnerable–to a point–and hope that there’s a bit of reciprocity there or you can clam up and get jack shit.

I got a lot this year.

I talked. I was recognized. People told me they read my blog. They followed me on Twitter and told me so. They had never heard of me. I got funny looks. I felt ignored. I was in control and I was scared.

I sat in my car for twenty minutes and I cried before I finally put my SUV in gear. I called Tucker and spewed nonsense. He listened. He told me to come home. If he judged me, he didn’t tell me.

I came home. I felt empowered. I felt like someone wanted to listen to me and and wanted to work with me and didn’t feel embarrassed to be around me and/or be associated with me.

This was the year I stopped making excuses and started something that could be awesome. Or could suck and fail.

Regardless, I made my own conference.

I owned that shit and I regret nothing.