It is taking me a tremendous amount of time to process The Influence Conference that I attended over a week ago. I’m not sure what the deal is. Maybe I’m being stubborn and don’t want to see something that God is trying to teach me. Maybe.
Let’s start from the beginning, I signed up. That was big for me. At the time, I knew not one soul that would be there nor had I ever been to a blogging conference before. Click – “buy”. I was going.
Next: facebook. Facebook can be destructive and demystifying, but it can also bring people together. People who have never met one another before. Influential people. Thanks to the Influence Conference Connect Page, I was able to bump into some ladies prior to the conference. One in particular, Brooke (what a great name!).
I decided to be part of the Sashes Market which was to take place that weekend as well. This involved a lot of preparation. I mean A LOT as most of my products are packaged as I need them. I got busy. And excited. Why not jump in with both feet, right?
Stress ensued. Was my stuff ready? Was I ready? What should I wear? Was I going to feel old? Would I get to know anyone? Anyone at all? Should I have tried to find a roommate? Should I be going at all?
With car packed and Starbucks in hand, to Indianapolis I went–alone. I have to admit, my palms were sweaty and so were my feet!
Though we had already made plans to meet up, Brooke and I bumped into one another almost immediately on the elevator–a God thing, if you ask me. We proceeded to spend the afternoon together and it felt as comfortable as my favorite pair of jeans. The ones with the hole in them–I was being me: a little frayed, a hole in the knee, been around for years…me.
Blah blah blah…Enough about all the “before”, here’s what I took home:
- Several new friends that I am very excited about. I am not an easy friend-maker. These ladies are really special. And what is crazy is that even though it was a small conference of 200 people, I know there were loads of other ladies that I would love to have connected with as well.
- I’m not alone! Okay okay, so there were a lot of earthy, organic, urban outfittery types there which is not like me. But these were women who like to dabble in all sorts of creative endeavors and who love Jesus. Whew! I knew they were out there, but now I know they are real. They may not look like me or talk like me or even eat like me, but they share things that are far more important. And that was an encouragement. I think we all know and hear that we require community. But it really is true. God uses other people in your life to reveal himself to you.
- Per speaker and blogger Casey Weigand, “If 12 people are following you, your influence is 12 people.” (paraphrase) Hmmm… I don’t have to have to worry about my reach. I just need to focus on what I can do with my influence and my story. But I also need to remember that the world is beyond me. It goes beyond my needs, my thoughts, my story and weaves in with the stories of others and can impact others – read about FashionABLE.
- I’m still grappling with this one, but I feel like I need to give myself the space to pursue this without guilt. How that balances in real life when there are work responsibilities and deadlines, children’s activities and a spouse who I cherish every moment with, I have no idea. Anyone? Anyone?
I wish we could have heard ALL the speakers because I know I missed some gems, but I was very blessed by the speakers I did hear.
Yep, that’s it. For now.