Yesterday, I did something really scary. I got in the car and drove approximately 123 miles to a previously agreed upon meeting point. That’s not the scary part. The scary part is that I got out of my car and went inside to meet them. Just getting out of the car was scary because it made me committed to the “Haven or Bust” caravan. I’m pretty sure my hands were a sopping mess all the way there. My guts were totally in knots.
I could have driven away and talked myself out of going. I could have gotten sick or had to bathe my dogs or had an “emergency.” You know, the kind of emergency when you’re on a bad date and your sister calls and says, “It’s bad CoCo, it’s real bad, you better come quick” and then you thank her for saving you, talk her ear off all the way home and swear you’re never dating again.
But driving away wasn’t an option because it’s taken everything I have to put myself out there and to get to this point. If you had told me that I would even be going to Haven a year ago I would have laughed out loud. I’ve never even driven my wagon Pearl outside of my home state. I’m the girl sweating in the car while waiting on friends to show up at the movies because I swear there’s a gangster, perv, or weirdo that’s gonna give me “the eye” hanging around the corner. The girl who hasn’t been able to get on private Facebook pages because she hasn’t figured out how yet. The one who documents this blog with a point and click camera and fears the day her blackberry dies.
I first reached out to Lauren of The Thinking Closet over a year ago when she helped guide me through my first About Page. The fact she even took me seriously as a blogger made me feel like bawling. We kept in touch through social media, emails, and as of a week ago face time on an I-Pad I had borrowed from S. We talked for an hour and a half. When we hung up, I obsessed that I had taken up too much of her time. Obsessed.
She posted all these great pictures from Haven last year and said she had THE best time. Then she said, “Next year, CoCo, I want to see you at Haven.” Some people say things like this in passing but don’t really mean them. Like a frienemy from high school that says, “Hey, we should do lunch some time,” and you walk away thinking “not a chance.” But this lady is serious about helping others become their best. She has been a true vessel of support and encouragement.
I can’t tell you all the divine events that made it possible for me to be at this conference. It covers everything from my ticket to the gift cards I received as birthday gifts that helped me get a few new clothes and new make up. Just thinking about it gives me the tingles.
I’m going to be in and out of sessions for the next few days learning how to make this blog better. I’m going to take notes with my new notebook and pass out business cards that will probably have the rubber band still wrapped around them. I have tried on countless outfits and still have no idea what I’m going to wear. I won’t know the latest app or who most of the guest speakers are but I’m excited for the experience.
If you’re a baby blogger in a small town wondering if anyone even reads your blog, or an artist afraid to post your amazing work for fear of being judged, or a girl standing in the line at the food pantry wondering when you’re going to get it together, or a bohemian soul with an accounting degree longing to let your creative spirit free, or a mom of littles wondering if you’ll ever get your living room back after tripping over toys, or the one reading this wishing you had taken the chance when it was offered, I’m going to Haven for you too.
See you back here on Monday for a full recap!