Already, I’ve been back from LA for well over a week. I attended BlogWorld and New Media Expo LA (BWELA) 2011 from Nov 3-5.
I had attended Blog World last year in Las Vegas, and although I made many new friends, I personally felt like I’ve “been there, done that.” It was fun, but not necessary to attend again, especially when I am not exactly in “the industry”.
However, my perception slowly changed over the last few months. I believe it’s thanks to Google Plus that I started to feel like I’m part of the industry, part of a community. (Interestingly enough, that is the topic Russel and I talked about in our last Getting Engaged episode, but seriously, I didn’t link them together until I started writing this post.)
I made many new virtual friends on G+. And many people I like and look up to were supposed to be at BWELA, I started to really wanting to attend the conference. Coincidentally, I had an event to attend in LA few days after BWELA, so I had to be in LA anyway. But being a single mom, it’s not easy coming up with the means. After looking into several options, I had quietly given up.
Couple of weeks have passed, and I was surprised to catch myself still being upset about not going. I had even entered contests to win a pass for BWELA. I didn’t win. I was like a little kid pouting.
One afternoon, I was reading in the bath. It was a nice sunny day, and for me, having a relaxing bath in the middle of the day is one of my favourite things to do. (I love it, it’s my thing, let it go.) I was reading Jonathan Field’s Uncertainty(Affiliate link).
And suddenly something hit me. “Why CAN’T I go? What is stopping me?”
Nobody had told me I couldn’t go. The person who said no to me was myself. I was blaming everything but myself for not being able to go.
I got out of the bath, and after a few emails and phone calls later, I was pretty much set up to go by the evening.
Yes, I had no guarantee I’d come back with something tangible like a new prospect or contract. Yes, it was financially risky for me to make a 8-day trip. All I knew was that I really wanted to go. Others might laugh at my desire to attend a mere conference, but it was obiously a big deal for me.
So I went. And what happened?
I got to see many of my favourite people. People who inspire me. To be inspired – is probably the most important thing for me. I’m always looking for an inspiration. (Especially, meeting this guy was the highlight of my trip.) I’ve learned a lot from all the sessions I’ve attended. And I made a whole a lot of new friends. It was absolutely amazing.
On a personal note, I also found somebody very special. But you need to buy me a drink to hear that story.
Lesson I learned from this entire experience is, that you need to make things happen for yourself. That nobody is going to do it for you.
I’ve decided to lean into uncertainty and let the world take me wherever it leads…and I am so glad I did.