October 3-5 I attended BlissDom Canada.
It was my first ever conference.
It was amazing. It was scary. It was fun. It was emotional. I laughed. I cried. I made new friends and connections. I ate great food (when morning sickness would let me). I had fun. I relaxed. I got stressed. I got overwhelmed. I got inspired. I even felt a little let down. What else can I say? It was a true roller coaster of emotions.
When I first found out I won my ticket to go, I was actually jumping up and down with joy and excitement. I was so pumped to go.
Then the day started getting closer and closer. Then a stupid voice in the back of my head got louder. I started talking to other people about it, learning about how much they had to save up and sacrifice to go. How would they treat me, would they treat me different since I had won my ticket? The money stress was low on my radar. Would they look at me different? Then the voice started talking about how long I've been blogging for, just over a year. Compared to some, I am still so new to this, would my blog and I even make a dent in the giant ocean of amazing bloggers there?
Of course this was all so stupid. I quickly learned it did not matter how I got my ticket, or how long I have blogged for. BlissDom was so filled with love and acceptance that none of that mattered. All that mattered was that I was there, and I shared their passion.
Next thing to get over. I am an introvert. I would much rather sit at home in comfy pants, over sized comfy sweater and watch TV. I would have to actually go out on my own, to a place I have never been, with people I have never meet in real life. Awesome. When I first got there, you could tell right away people who had known each other, little groups had formed. Then there were single people floating around trying to find a place. This scared the crap out me. Did I just step back into high school cliques and groups? Was this just a small taste of what the whole conference would be like?
I gave myself a pep talk, forced myself to attend the New Members Welcome Party all on my own, nothing like walking into a room late while everyone is already busy talking. But I did it. I meet new people. I had fun. I had some good laughs. I got to meet so many amazing people. So many people that I look up to and admire. It was so great to actually meet these people in real life. To actually put a face to their twitter account and blog. To actually see that these people were just as amazing, friendly and funny in real life as they were in twitter. They were real!
And by the next morning the groups and cliques had melted away. All that was left was a welcoming environment.
I can actually say I am so proud of myself for forcing myself to go, even though I tried a million times to talk myself out of it (Thanks to my hubby who wouldn't let me!). I am so proud of myself for surviving the weekend, especially since morning sickness was horrible to me and I felt sick the whole time.
The conference itself, the speakers, were all amazing. I have never been so inspired. I have never seen a speaker able to connect with so many people on such a deep level. There are not really any words to describe what happened. It was truly one of those things that you had to be there, experience for yourself, to truly understand and appreciate.
I was moved to tears listening to so many of the speakers (and I wasn't the only one, so don't blame the pregnancy hormones!)!
I would actually walk out of a room feeling not only inspired by what was said, but deep down, truly inspired in myself. That took me by surprise. I did not expect that to happen. It was wonderful.
Here was the downside for me. I went into this thing wanting to learn as much as I could. Wanting to meet as many people as I could. Wanting to make as many connections as possible. Wanting to take away all that I could. Which I soon learned was all useless, to some extent. There was just not enough time.
They had different sessions set up, different micro sessions, which don't get me wrong, I loved. It was great to be able to sit down with just a table full of people, or a small room of people and actually have your voice heard. Here is the downside for me, how do you pick and choose what to attend when all of it is actually equally important to you? You can't. And it sucked. I walked away knowing I was missing out on key parts. I felt let down. I felt sad. It felt wrong to complain though, the conference was two full days, there was so much to learn, and they did an awesome job of putting it together, but still... I missed out. I went with such high expectations of going there to learn all that I could, and I couldn't. Now I realize part, if not all of that, is on me with setting my expectations so high. But still, no matter what I told myself, what pep talks I told myself, I did as much as I could, I attended every session I could, I still felt as if I had let myself down in some way for missing out.
Now don't get me wrong. I am so beyond blessed that I was able to go. You really have no idea. Unless of course you saw me at the end after the last keynote speaker. I attempted ever so gracefully to go up to the wonderful people behind BlissDom and thank them in person for the chance to win (because it wasn't even a pipe dream for me to go unless I had won that ticket), to express how grateful I was for them, how thankful I was for the conference and what they put together, how inspired they had made me, how much I actually took away from it, how much I believed in myself after all this, how full my heart was. I made it to one person before I started crying, and not some cute little one tear or something, full on, nasty, body shaking, can't form a single word, crying. I had to leave and go to my room to collect my thoughts. So to everyone else, THANK YOU! You have no idea how much this meant to me. Thank you for letting me apart of something so amazing, so life changing, so inspiring.
And of course a BIG giant thank you to all the sponsors that were there! They were all so amazing! And so nice and easy to talk to! It was great to learn more about some of the brands that were there, and see some new products! It was a really wonderful experience! Thank you!
I can cross it off my list of : Does it scare the sh*t out of you? Then you should probably do it!
And I did, and if I do say so myself, I rocked it!