my biggest take aways from AWBU

this weekend i went to my first blogger conference, Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged.
{perhaps you saw my twitter feed exlpode with #awbu?}
i feel like i could write a billion words right now.but the lovely and talented-and i mean every ounce of both of those words-Angie Albright suggested i keep it around 350-500 words, so here we go.

this weekend i got to spend time with women i love, women i admire, women that amaze me, women i would have never met in any other setting.

women who i laughed with like i do with my closest friends.

b asked me what the highlight was and to be honest, for me, it was a tie.

there was a 5k sunday morning. i had packed for it. i love a good walk and have even been known to run for short stints of time. the event was at 6:30am on sunday. i went to bed knowing i would likely go, but still leaving the option to bail. the alarm went off and when i looked over sarah was all ready up, so i was in. we got dressed and got down to the starting area around 6:15. i was signing up around the same time as Jackie (who i will rush on below), who had said she would also be run/walking. she signed up as a runner, as that is what she wanted to push herself to be and i signed up as a walker, so that any running i did would be a bonus. i commented on this situation- something about conflicting optimism- and as soon as the words left my mouth, it hit me. the difference in the thinking was so insightful to me. setting the bar low, so that you always meet it is really not the way to live your best life.

from there i started out jogging with Jackie and then next thing i knew my Sarah (who runs on the reg) came up behind me and i kept with her. i told myself i would run around the pond, and then i just kept running. and i ran the whole thing. i think that being on trails most of the time helped a lot. i had never trail run, but it doesn’t surprise me that being in nature and having to use my mind to keep balance and be aware of my footing was more enjoyable to me than running alongside the highway. but more than the trail was something inside me that knew i could do it. that it was something mental, not physical, that kept me from doing it. so i did it, with my sweet sassy sarah by my side until the very end.
and i was really proud. and those gals at the finish line were really proud of me. and it made my heart swell and told the little voice thank you and invited her to speak louder (and stuck my tongue out at the naysayer).

20130909-205934.jpg

it all culminated in attending Jackie Wolven’s session “stop doing what the other guy is dong!”.

i have been intrigued by jackie since the first time i met her.
i have loved her message since the first time i read her.
i have appreciated being a part of her 30 day challenge and being encouraged by her.
and i am better for having heard her speak on sunday.

while other women were learning about blogging for brands and developing their voices, i was learning that what i do here on ahoyfriend is okay. it is not just okay, it is perfectly wonderfully fine. as she spoke i went back to my old blog to see when i began this crazy journey, april 2008. here are the gems i captured in my notebook:

  • do not discount your power
  • your words last forever online
  • “can’t i just be at the recital cringing? do i have to tape it?”
  • complaining is a habit
  • be truthful in your experience and show the middle ground
  • “it’s like being jealous of the mall because they have all the stuff”
  • pick the blogs you read carefully-don’t read what makes you feel less than
  • “do i need to kidnap toddlers & find jesus?”

on the way home sarah asked me what i was going to do as an outcome of this conference. and i told her that i wasn’t sure yet. there are a lot of takeaways. but i know that i love having this space. that i love writing here. i love sharing here. and i love that i can finally be okay with that being enough.

thank you! thank you! thank you!(and 752 words was as good as i could do)

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15 thoughts on “my biggest take aways from AWBU

  1. I enjoyed meeting you and hanging on the porch for a bit. I am so glad you came. I took away something so different from this conference that I have in the past and I am still processing it. I hope to have a post up on Wednesday. I feel my direction shifting yet I’m not quite sure how.

  2. So, I found your clothes pin on my purse today. It was still dangling, beautifully from the clasp. I left it there. It makes me smile, just like you.

    You are perfectly, magically, wonderful and if you really need to find Jesus, you can borrow my toddler for a bit. He will drive you to Jesus or drinking (or in my case, a combo of both).

    Thanks for waking up for the 5k! You did awesome and go explore more trail!

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