Last year when peoples’ summaries of the Blathering were essentially “I found my people” and that became the tag line of the whole conference (“Find Your People”) I didn’t really get it. I figured maybe it meant we were all internet people? Therefore the same? So we “found” each other by meeting up? I didn’t know. I know I felt like I got to hang out with some fun people and do cool things, but I didn’t feel “known” or “found” or anything like that. In fact, I felt kind of lonely. Like everyone found each other and, oops, no one happened to find me. I didn’t feel rejected or on the outside looking in, I just felt like I missed some essential thing.
Part of it was having my whole family there, I’m sure. I didn’t go to the Gypsy Picnic with Blatheringers, I went with my sister-in-law, Thomas and the kids. I had mixed feelings about that – on one hand hanging out with a bunch of sort-of-strangers is exhausting and it was nice to take a little break in the weekend to regroup. I really loved hanging with my family and it’s actually one of my favorite family memories. I wouldn’t go back in time and take that away. On the other hand, as I said, I felt I maybe missed out on some secret imparted or, more simply, wasn’t around for people to notice or remember me.
As I got ready for this year, I thought: this is it. This is MY YEAR. I didn’t make any specific plans; I was going to go along with whatever people wanted to do and just BE THERE. Finding my people. Letting them find me. Not being nervous, because I know all of you now. Even the ones I hadn’t technically met before. I would have been happy spending the afternoon with anyone there so I didn’t have to stress about maneuvering myself into the group I wanted. And you know what? It was perfect.
I’ve said in a few comments sections this was the best weekend I’ve ever had and I do think it was. (Though it might come in second to my wedding/honeymoon.) I wish I could put finding my people into words because I get it now. I did it. Like I said in the first post, I just felt so comfortable with everyone. We get each other. We know each other. You’re my people.
The first year you put yourself out there and meet dozens of people is hard, and, honestly, for me the second year wasn’t much easier. But the third time was the charm and while we may not all be call-each-other-up-every-day best friends, I do feel like I have 60 wonderful friends I *could* call up anytime at all, even if I usually don’t.