Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Elevate Conference Experience

I attended Elevate Conference last weekend. I found out about it through Kimmie's personal Facebook page. I realized it was literally 10 minutes away, with some of my favs (Erin, Kimmie & Ashley) on the speaker panel and was like omg I have to goooo! I originally got wait listed since the conference was sold out and I am so so glad that a spot opened up last minute that I got to snag.

The excitement of getting a ticket quickly turned into nerves. The morning of the conference I woke up nice and early and spent way more time getting ready that I usually do. My mind was racing. Will I make a good impression? Will I recognize people? Will people recognize me? What if I'm all by myself while everyone else carries on conversations with each other? (Is this normal or am I just a freak?)

When I showed up and walked in, I had a minor panic attack since the scene looked sort of like my fear of "everyone carrying on in conversation, all knowing each other except me" but then I saw Erin. I bee-lined for her, hugged her. Phew. I knew someone. It's going to be ok. Now calm the eff down and DO THIS.
 (Oh heeyyy Kimmie and Erin!!)

The speakers at Elevate were amazing. They got down to the nitty gritty for us. They opened up, and told their story, for us. I can tell you I wrote only one thing down on my notepad when Kimmie spoke because I was so enthralled in the story she was telling (and shed tears more than once). (For the record, I wrote "you're so much bigger than your blog.") And Ashley surprised me with her openness, bluntness almost, in such a good way, admitting fault and explaining how she learned and changed from it.

What I really took away from Elevate, is that everyone struggles. The speakers, that are so well-known in the blogging community, they are real people just like me. Everyone has their story. As much as we feel like we "know" the girl behind the blog, there is so much other stuff going on behind the scenes, and it's not all pretty. It's hard. Blogging is hard. And it's ok to have moments of weakness, it's ok to be sad and struggle. It's ok to make mistakes, because we all do it. We just have to be sure to use those moments to learn from them.
Ashley and I were on a team for shooting rubber bands and she kicked my ass.
 
Summer, Jen, and Nichole did an amazing job on Elevate. (Thanks so much girls!) It was the perfect mix of personal and business. I left feeling happy and inspired (and went out with some of the girls to grab a drink in Newport so basically, I made new friends!)
 
Can I also just add that Lauren is frickin funny. Natalie and her husband are basically the cutest couple ever. Mique is way too modest about her amazingness. Erin is exactly how I imagined her which shows how true to herself she is on her blog. Ashley is a riot, all 4'11 of her. Kimmie is so sweet and genuine. Man, just so many amazing woman!

I'm really glad I sucked up my nerves and went to this conference. It was not the easiest, I definitely was out of my comfort zone. But I know that the more I put myself in these positions, the easier it will get.

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14 comments:

  1. looks like an amazing time! i really wish i lived in CA or even in AZ where it seems like all the blogging action happens. plus i just want to be able to see you again, of course. ;) miss you!

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  2. awwww i loved this!!! you didn't look nervous at all!

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  3. For the record- you are not alone. Even though I came with Ashley and Nina, I felt those exact same fears. What if nobody likes me? Or what if I'm totally different than what people would expect?
    I loved sitting next to you and getting the chance to talk. I didn't recognize you at first because of your sunglasses- sorry I didn't say hi first. I was a little embarrassed about that. But I loved that we got to kick back and just talk. It was the best. Loved your recap- you wrote my exact feelings and impressions of everything. So glad I went! I hope I get to see you again soon. xo

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  4. looks like so much fun! I am happy you faced your fears/anxiety and went. I need to push myself to do something like this one day....

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  5. I am SO glad you went!! yay Julie! and i just wish I was there too!

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  6. I don't really know how its possible, but you are even more beautiful in person! Did I mention you have perfect eyebrows? Because you do. And it was so so great to see you again! we live close--lets make it happen again! Love your recap! And sorry if I got a little "too" personal in my talk, lol.

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  7. Sounds like a great time!

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  8. I think it's always important to remember how vulnerable we all are behind our blogs and how difficult it can be to put yourself out there, especially when other things in your life get in the way and you doubt yourself blogging!
    this is a lovely blog and that is a lovely dress!
    xox

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  9. So glad to know I wasn't the only one out of my comfort zone. It's funny that I wrote the same thing about being nervous...you definitely weren't the only one. ;) I am glad that we both got to attend after being wait listed. It was great to meet you! Hopefully, we cross paths again some day!

    Natalee
    eat_nap_play@yahoo.com

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  10. I'm so bummed that I wasn't able to make it! look amazing. maybe I'll get there next year!

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  11. Ahhhhh yes. Glad you pushed through and went. You're not a freak. It's possibly the worst/hardest when you walk into a room full of strangers and have to chalk up the nerve to get to know people without a wingman (or lady). Go you!

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  12. Yeah! I'm so glad you got to go! I totally get that feeling like everyone has a person to talk to except me. It's totally normal and it makes me feel better that I'm not alone. It sounds like the day turned out great though and that's why we get through our uncomfortable moments. Woo!

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  13. Thanks for sharing your story with us. You are an amazing and strong...a true inspiration!

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  14. looks like you had a great time! definitely going to see if I can make it next year!

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Thanks for the comment! I read them all and reply when I can. Please be sure your blogger account is linked to your e-mail so I can do so! (Tutorial on how to do that here: http://tinyurl.com/c6gh9fk) xo JA