It’s strange how my life seems to go in circles. I was never a good student in history even when my babysitter would take on the painstaking task of helping me remember “Who’s, What’s, and When’s,” and I’d still fail.
These days it’s a different story:
…..all carry some meaning.
some are a little of both.
I spent 5 days in Chicago attending a conference along side some pretty amazing people. I left on August 6. Six years before I was on another plane preparing to spend time with a different yet equally amazing group of people. Each experience was uniquely different, yet there were a few parallels.
“It’s really weird,” as a close friend put it.
I never thought I’d end up in Chicago, maybe for another expo but that’s about it. Then again, I never thought I’d end up in the Northwest either. Now I can say I’ve done both, although I can’t say I’m “finished” with either locale.
My first day in Chicago I was really overwhelmed. In part because I couldn’t believe I was actually there; because that’s what happens to people who complete the application less than a week before the extended deadline. You don’t think you’re actually going to get an acceptance letter but it would be really great if you did.
I was also near exhaustion, having gotten up early and lacking any real food in my body. I was probably mildly dehydrated as well, but that part is my own fault.
But there is some good news about my very long day of travel; I was able to navigate the Detroit airport solo. I got myself from one end of terminal A to the other unscathed and with time to spare (although no time to grab a snack) so that’s a victory.
If you follow me on Tw!tter you know just how I ended my week.
— Sarah (@mssarahkp) August 10, 2013
As for the in between stuff? Here’s the blessing (and curse) of having moments of your life be on quasi-repeat. Whenever I was given a choice throughout the schedule I thought about what I would usually do, and did the opposite (there were 2 exceptions, I think).
It’s kind of a crazy way to do things but that’s what I did, and it was pretty great. It wasn’t a conscious decision, at first, but once you start something and it seems to work, why not keep it going?
I went in with no expectations because I didn’t have time to develop any. Sure I tried to imagine what it would be like but I didn’t try to see myself on anything.
What ended up happening was one of the best experiences of my entire life!
The only thing I do regret (if I had to pick one thing) is not taking the time to socialize with people more when the day was over. I did get some time in but not nearly as much as I would’ve liked. So if any fellow attendees are reading this please keep in touch.
So where does one go after a week like that?
I can only speak for myself, but I’m still trying to figure it out.
I will share with you some of what I took away from the experience:
1) When faced with a metaphorical cliff you can jump or be pushed off. Sometimes it’s better to jump. I need to jump more (this is a parallel lesson from 6 years ago).
2) I need to “keep up” before I’m left behind completely. What does that look like exactly? That’s what I need to figure out.
3) I like the idea of “self led.” However actually being self led it’s good for me. I need community. I need to put myself out there (see #1)
4) Not knowing the answers is OK. Just because you’re not there now doesn’t mean you won’t ever get there.
I don’t know where I’m going (or where I’ll end up) but learning from where I’ve been will help me figure out the future.