I spent last weekend in Atlanta at the Type A Parent Conference. I originally wasn’t going to go. I’ve been in this space for a bit and have worked in marketing for most of my career, so as far as learning goes, I just wasn’t sure I was going to get a lot out of it.
Boy, am I glad I changed my mind.
One of my biggest flaws is what Amber Naslund described perfectly in her Opening Keynote as “imposter syndrome” – that feeling that you aren’t quite good enough, that someone is going to call you out and say “what the hell do you think you are doing?” That’s me most of the time.
I often think that I should apply to be a speaker at one of these conferences, but I never do. What in the world could I possibly have to offer? Then I attend sessions that I easily could have led. My good friend Melissa told me, “There is always someone who knows more than you and there is always someone that knows less.” I need to remember that. Maybe I’ll actually apply to speak next year.
So what did I come away with? A lot. Too much to put into one post, but I’ll do a quick summary. Here are my top three moments of Type A 2013.
1. Just Write
I’ve been struggling a bit in my writing the past few months. My brain is full of 1000 different ideas but I can’t quite seem to get them all onto the computer screen. Then on Friday afternoon I spent some time with Heather from the Extraordinary Ordinary and Vikki from Up Popped a Fox. Now I’ve been to a lot of conferences, but no session has ever inspired me to write like this one. I can’t even put into words why it was so great, but it was.
The focus was on Free Writing. Free Writing is writing from an emotion, starting with a place of memory. Free Writing is not writing without a prompt, nor is it a brain dump. It’s silencing that (damn) inner critic! It’s finding a place to write that works for you (coffee shop, your bedroom, desk, etc).
We were given five minutes to find a feeling/a memory and write. And I came up with this. I was pretty pleased with it so after some tinkering I hit publish.
Thank you Heather and Vikki for helping me find my focus and desire to WRITE again.
Mama loves to dance. I mean, LOVES to dance. So I’m always excited when there’s some time buily in for me to shake my groove thang with my friends. And shake we did. I wobbled, I got low, I may have even twerked (ok I actually have no idea how to twerk). It made me feel like a college girl again. And when I woke in the morning with aching hips and knees, I was quickly reminded that I am not. But it was worth it. It’s always worth it.
3. My people
Time and again, I am reminded of how amazing it is to be in this space. Sure, I get fustrated, annoyed and sometimes feel alone. But I’m not. And spending time with people like Roo, Kelly and Julie reinvigorated my spirits. Rooming with my friends Andrea, Melissa and Fadra provided lots of laughter and even a late night career/life/blogging brainstorm session. We shared ideas, gave honest advice and constructive criticism. It was refreshing and awesome.
I did plenty of smiling over the weekend and that is thanks to the amazing people who are part of this social media world. This space has given me friendships – real, true, I would do anything for them- friendships. For that, I am eternally grateful.