Life is good, but sometimes you have little slumps. I’ve been slumpy lately, but am pulling out of it. One of the big things motivating me to look forward to an un-slumpy future was a trip to Boca Raton for the Appreciative Advising Institute #AAI2016! More about that later once I’ve had more time to process. It all still feels a little raw, but that’s not a bad thing. Let’s just say it was amazing and just what I needed. It filled my cup 😉 (You know what I’m talking about if you were there!)
So, for now. Here’s a bit about part of my journey – the tangible actual there and back again journey. The mental, emotional, professional life journey will be a separate post!
Empty suitcase – endless possibilities. It’s been way too long since I traveled. I used to just zip, zip zip and fill up a suitcase. I kept getting side tracked. It took me forever but I got everything to fit and didn’t forget my swimsuit. (Although it ended up being unused.)
…even Andy Bear made the trip- my good luck teddy bear!! Yes. I’m 42 and travel with a teddy bear. Don’t judge me. There’s actually a whole huge family story and family history with this bear.
The shirt I wanted to wear but chickened out from packing. I love my thrift store finds!
The shirt I actually wore on the plane! Felt super proud to be representing my home state at this conference.
…and…the adventure. There were snags, but United handled everything wonderfully, they found a qualified co pilot after only a short delay, the firetrucks that met us after our air return 10 minutes out of the Denver airport only ended up having to escort us not douse us with flame retardant and whatever else they use….ya. That kind of journey to Florida. I was honestly so refreshed and amazed at the fact that the hundreds of passengers on the plane really behaved well, didn’t cause scenes, and laughed, joked and helped each other out through 5 hours of delays and a little bit of a scary (smoke in the cabin) situation!
Now to the things I’m amazed I did portion of my trip. Taking an Uber. It was seriously a big deal for me. Being a strong introvert going to a conference with lots of interaction and small groups… Well, thinking about that wore me out! I was pretty nervous about having a roommate in the dorm but signed up for the dorm anyway. Huge win for me.
I was tired and could easily have eaten junk food, but didn’t. Doubly amazed because I had to walk to Whole Foods and back in the Florida heat and humidity – 5 miles round trip. I needed the miles anyway!
I talked on occasion in my small group! I was pretty tired. Exhausted really the first two days. I was glutened at the Denver airport first thing on the trip and then discovered I’m pretty much allergic to Florida. At one point I was close to showing someone how to use my epipen just in case. Mold…grrrrrr! The first day or so was an antihistamine and inhaler filled fog of dizziness and coffee. Even then, I was able to take things in and keep smiling, enjoying and learning.
And one of the coolest things is…all those worries about having a roommate. Unfounded. I know…you all would have told me that from the start! Roomie and I were on the same flight back to Denver, too, and arranged to have our seats next to each other. The Uber driver to the airport kept saying, as we animatedly chatted on the drive, “You guys just met?” “Really…you guys didn’t know each other before?” OH…and we even colored one night. Because of course, essential conference packing involves a 74 colored pencil set and a motivational coloring book!
Ok. Yep…was going to write more about the conference but am still a little overwhelmed in a good way by all of the positivity and wonderful people I met. OK. Whew. Yep…coming back to this one. (This introvert needs more processing time!) Let’s just say #besthumansever and I’m feeling so refreshed and can’t wait to keep in touch with this new tribe of mine!
As soon as I got home I hung out a bit with one of my other tribes at a pizza fundraiser. I’m so blessed to have all of these wonderful, amazing, strong, powerful people in my life.
Before this conference I knew I had a lot of wonderful, amazing, caring, people in my life, but looked on it as kind of this fleeting, little pocket of luckiness I had stumbled upon. Now I believe I can go out and find my tribes and its not just me (individually) doing this “thing”…I feel the power of togetherness. Instead of seeing me as just one distinct little piece doing my own thing for the great good…I see and feel everyone lifting me up when I need it and surrounding me with love, hope and happiness…and feel the strength of my muscles and arms and legs, my heart and my brain providing support to all of these other wonderful people when they need it. I need you guys and am so grateful we found each other.
Also…Thanks Coach Jeff if you’re reading this! I said thank you last night for the encouragement. It’s really, really, really, really, really been life changing and has helped me so much on this journey to battle my depression and anxiety and to find my confidence again! You see the change…don’t minimize how you helped me get there!
So I challenge you…go find your tribes. If you read this…tell me in the comments who they are. Tell them who they are, too! Being told I was part of a tribe (or a family or whatever word resonates with you) is one of the things that helped me change my perspective from being one piece of something….to being something (Hope that makes sense!)
Oh yes…and ummmm…help me fight cancer here! I’ll be updating this blog with a running update soon!