It’s a week and a half before my wedding, and I’m at Alt Summit Summer 2015! I haven’t been blogging due to wedding planning (and who knows how many other excuses I could come up with), but now that I’m here at my dream blogging conference, I feel compelled to write.
I have been dreaming about going to Alt Summit ever since I first learned that it existed a few years ago when I started dreaming about being a blogger. As I sit here on my hotel bed with the Alt program at my side, I can hardly believe this dream has come true!
Over the past few years, I didn’t have the courage to come to the conference, not thinking that I was a real blogger. Being inspired by Organized Jen’s post about attending the winter session, the same blogger and vlogger who inspired me to start my own blog, I signed up this past winter as soon as tickets went on sale.
After some back and forth about should I go or shouldn’t I go to save money for the wedding, I ended up deciding I would go the night before the trip. And I don’t have to tell you that I am so glad I did!
Who Knows What They Want to Do with Their Life
Like I’m sure many people out there, I went into a career that I didn’t exactly feel a connection to. I have identified myself as a writer for years, but felt that I couldn’t be two things, or I couldn’t do something else that might one day become a new career.
You become what you think about all day long, as I have heard Wayne Dyer say.
I have traditionally been a reclusive conference attendee, ducking away from any potential interaction with other people, certainly not putting myself out there in any kind of networking fashion. I think this stems from my pharmacy conferencing days.
Not wanting to be sucked into a conversation about anything work-related (which made my head spin), I became an expert at avoiding interacting with the people around me who remotely resembled someone that might think they have something in common with me.
I almost approached Alt this way, not jumping in on the Facebook group conversation. Just keeping a safe distance reading the other exuberant attendees’ comments about their excitement over the upcoming business card exchange (which I also planned on dropping out of – more on that later).
At some point yesterday, the idea came to my mind that while I didn’t have to be overly network-y at Alt, I also wouldn’t be overly withdrawn from, or terrified of, talking to the friendly, chatty people around me who would inevitably find something to strike up a conversation about.
Being Brave Is a Conscious Choice
I would be brave. I would not be borderline rude and avoid all eye contact and conversation. I would indulge a business card exchange offer (and politely explain that I didn’t have any).
While standing in line to get a personalized notebook made by Make My Notebook, the woman in front of me chatted up the woman behind me. I assumed they must know each other and stood there awkwardly.
But I realized that they were talking about a comment on the Facebook group I had been observing from afar and happened to catch earlier in the day, so I uncharacteristically jumped in.
About 10 seconds in they were talking business card exchange and I knew I was in trouble. I wasn’t worried though, and the woman in front, a seasoned Alt attendee, was so friendly and told a story about someone last year who ran out of business cards and started writing her info on sticky notes.
I had just received a little booklet of paper and a pen at check-in, so I gracefully created a little impromptu business card while standing in line, and proclaimed that I would go to FedEx that night to get cards (which I did – major relief for today!).
I designed my own business card a few months ago, but was embarrassed that the design wasn’t good enough. After writing out my name, website, and email address on a ripped piece of paper about 10 times, I decided that a cheap business card is better than that!
When the woman in front of me, who has a party planning business with her husband, said she is a pharmacist, I knew I was in the right place. This is the kind of conference pharmacist I can get on board with 🙂
Our Dreams Are Happening Now
The afternoon pre-conference sessions I attended focused on being brave and putting yourself out there even when it feels scary. I don’t think I have ever admitted on my blog that I am trained as a pharmacist.
I kind of wanted to separate myself from that and focus everything on becoming a writer. But since my blog is all about following our dreams, I must admit that even as a pharmacist I am already living my dreams. I want to continue to improve, but I want to come from a place of already being happy with where I am, and knowing that it will only get better from here.
I have so much more to say about the first day at Alt, and I can’t wait to see what I have to say after the next few days. Tiffany Han said yesterday in her first session that the nervous feeling in your tummy means you are showing up differently. It’s a good thing. Get used to it. I am.
What gives you a nervous feeling in your tummy that you are going to do anyway? Please share your thoughts!