The dreams started early this year, as only a glimmer in my mind.
It was a spark on an otherwise empty 2014 landscape. Could I really do this? Could I go to a blog conference? Or two? Or three? In particular, the first one I’m thinking about going to is BlogU and it focuses on writing skills, social media outreach, learning to get published, and my all-time favorite thing – connecting. I like turning blogging friends into in-person friends. It’s my favorite.
I could never have envisioned what they would be like in person, and all awesomely 3D and all of that, and I couldn’t envision what I would be like with them. We had to meet to find that out. I’m happy to say that it happened very naturally and that real friendships developed out of a twitter conversation. And after an extraordinarily long time of falling in love through emails, photos and phone calls with Cassidy, we met in person. All awesomely 3D and all. These were taken during our first meeting:
Nothing could have prepared me for that first meeting, and it was not like I thought it would be. Not that I even knew what I thought it would be. It was a composite of pictures, voices and words. And yet, it was much more than that. (more much, as Scarlet would say) It was real. That’s all I can say. It was more real. More real is simultaneously awkward, exhilarating, disappointing, intimidating, squishy, heart-pounding, ground-breaking, achy, (breaky?), touching, queasy and..altering.
I think that about sums it up!
Moving on here. Not that I’m comparing going to a blogging conference with meeting my true love. You’re all off the hook this time, people. It’s just about..something so simple. Something so simple as meeting friends, attending conferences, traveling, meeting boys at the airport..all of those things are done by someone not battling a bad bout of anxiety. I have done those things. I can do this. I can see what develops in the former empty spaces of in-person communication, and learning, and expanding.
I can travel. I can work on my blog. I can take photos of your kids. It’s something so simple as doing all the things I want to do.
And yet, it’s not really simple. In my past, I have had days, weeks and months of the kind of anxiety that makes going to the grocery store stressful. I’ve also had YEARS of anxiety dormancy, in which anything and everything is possible, and even simply done. I’m different now that I’ve had Des. The anxiety has..vastly lessened. I feel more possible than ever. And yet, I’m more tender at times too. More to love and more to lose. My heart pounds at simple exchanges in public. Sometimes I cry when I have a cold on the same day that Scarlet argues with me. I never know the triggers, or the phasing of the moon, or whatever it is that makes the simple things seem like jagged mountains to me. And other times, they’re smooth hills I can jump from one to one.
Can I jump the smooth hills ahead of me for 2014, or will I hide at home in fear? Can I build new friendships and relationships? Can I travel? Sometimes I wonder how I did all of the previously mentioned things without freaking out. How I could drive to meet Michelle and Ilene, and how I could drive to JFK Airport, at 10:00 pm at night, to meet an older man I had never seen in my life before. Who was that person who felt she could do anything, and it felt like flying? Can I find her again? I’d like to.
Speaking of Ilene and photos and feeling like flying, I got together with Ilene again on Christmas Eve. You may have read about it HERE. We happened to be in the same state during the same week, and not only that, she needed headshots taken. Furthermore, she wanted ME to do them?! So I did them. And it was awesome. And she blended into my family like she had been there every Christmas Eve ever, and we’re going to do it again, and saying goodbye was really hard, and I shuffled around in the driveway, freezing but unable to go back inside easily. You know how that is. Maybe you’ve had days and nights like that. Many times over. It means you’re doing, talking, photographing feeling, and experiencing something so right. Something so simple.
I’m going to do it. All. And I’m going to turn the moments of this year into experiences to look back on. To reflect on. To write about. To photograph. To read these writings and look at these pictures and say, “That’s when things changed.”