I’m just starting to resurface from the last week.
Last Tuesday I hoped a plane to Nashville.
It was not easy to fly to another state to attend a conference full of women, many of which I did not know. After spending the span of four days and four nights trying to keep my brave face firmly in place I am feeling mixed emotions. To be fair I started my trip filled with knots in my stomach and conflicting emotions laced with confusion that was not related to attending this conference. This is probably not the recommended way to set off from home to attend an event that requires an open heart, mind and soul.
I felt more self doubt that I would like to admit. I went ahead and let myself indulge my normal reaction to large groups and I tried to blend into the crowd too much. I let myself fall into the trap of feeling unimportant and small. The thing about putting myself out there and stepping out of my comfort zone is that my insecurities and social issues come to the surface. I know I am not alone. I had up moments and down moments. It was like a four day roller coaster ride and now I am exhausted. Dancing into the late hours of the night mixed with social awkwardness and late night talk sessions with roommates will do that to a person.
Even with all of my awkwardness and confused heart I made it through and managed to make friends with some amazing women. I am privileged to have met women that I wish I could move in next door to. The many points of view, opinions and suggestions that flowed through the building came from some of smartest people I have had the pleasure to have touch my life. I laughed, I got teary, I was nervous and intimidated, while also feeling more excitement and enthusiasm that I knew what to do with.
It’s hard work stepping out of your comfort zone. Hard work that is worth it when you make friendships with awesome women like Jennifer and Sarah, laugh into the wee hours of the night with Sherry and Emily, learn from crazy intelligent women like Kelby and Amanda, dance like nobody is watching with Fiona, Stephanie, Nichole, and Julie and many others, and spend a night alone in a hotel room without an alarm set.
Life is a learning process. It’s about evolving, learning and growing. Some days have more opportunities for growth and learning than others and the last week has been packed with possibilities. Overwhelming? Why, yes it was. Thrilling? Yes, that to.
Now I just need to figure out what to do with all that I learned and all that I felt.
I’ll be spending a lot of time thinking about my short list, boundaries, and community.