Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Overcoming Fear in the Face of. . .Other Bloggers

I couldn't sleep last night. I tossed and turned, worried and fretted. For one, I knew I had to get up early and didn't want to oversleep. Secondly, I was going to meet some other local bloggers IN REAL LIFE. After a while I couldn't stand it anymore. I simply got out of bed and started to prepare myself. I felt sick to my stomach, and it wasn't the coffee. Meeting new people (without the safety net of someone I know near me) is usually the perfect reason for me to panic. So panicking I was!


See. . .Kim of Cozinest, another Fairhope gal, arranged a get-together she was calling the South Alabama Bloggers Conference, and I had registered to attend. I'm not sure exactly what I was looking for in this meeting, but I knew that I needed to be there. Well. . .logically I knew I needed to be there. Emotionally, I was a wreck! Once I registered, Kim sent me a welcome e-mail and I responded by explaining my social awkwardness. She reassured me and encouraged me to come. In addition, Pat was adamant that I attend. (That man is such a blessing in my life, seriously.) Fortunately, it was at Page and Palette, only a few miles from my house. Before I could turn back, I was there! Kim greeted me in the upstairs meeting area, I found my name tag, and I took a seat.


As everyone began to mingle, I found myself talking aloud...to others (though aloud to myself is NOT uncommon.) I even recognized a few people. The meeting started with each of us introducing and saying a little something about ourselves. My mind and my heart raced as the others poured out their stories. I was second-to-last in line, and I think my 'story' came out as fast as I could get it out of my body. But, I did it! After that, it was much easier.


Kim had prepared an agenda. We touched on only a few of the many awesome topics she had on it and planned a date to meet again. As the meeting broke apart, most of the attendees headed out for lunch together. I fled the scene to run some errands, catch my breath, and revel in my accomplishment. I met new people without a security blanket! I spoke out loud to a room full of people I'd never met before. I don't think I said anything stupid, inappropriate, or silly. I only interrupted one or two times. I got through it! I should sleep much better tonight. (despite all the coffee I had today.)


Before I go, I want to share with you the bloggers I got the privilege to meet:
Wade of Wade on Birmingham (and many more blogs)

Each of these individuals (along with the two guest speakers) brought something to the table(s) today. They are all full of ideas, creativity, and insight. It was really an amazing experience to spend the morning with them. I can't wait to meet up with them again next month!

19 comments:

  1. Some day my friend, we will meet in person. And we are all the same way! it is unnerving to meet someone in person that you've been blogging with. But I promise it will be awesome :) Can't wait to meet you

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    1. Cynthia, As much as I want to meet you too, that's still so intimidating! But exciting! But scary. I'm very complicated ;)

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  2. Hope, It was an awesome meeting today. I feel blessed to have met you and the other bloggers today. I look forward to perusing your blog and Etsy Shop. I admired your necklace today but didn't get a chance to tell you. Looking forward to getting to know you better.

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  3. Thanks for this post. Sometimes I think I'm the only one! Glad you had a successful time.

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    1. Ann, I'm coming to learn that there are far more of us than we think! I take comfort in that thought.

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  4. Yay! I would've chickened out. ;-)

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    1. The hubby wouldn't let me. He almost demanded I go (and I'm SO GLAD he did!) It was all for the best. :)

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  5. Good job, brave girl!
    I used to be like that too...now I think I am little bit better, I try to think of questions I could ask about the new person(s), a little something i want to share about myself, and that kinda helps to open some doors.

    I do hope to meet you some day! Hope that doesn't give you a panic attack ;-)

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  6. Hope, you were the person I was most looking forward to meeting yesterday and I thought you were as nice and funny as I thought you'd be. I'm so glad we got to sit together and chat about thrifting. My daughter has major social anxiety. It takes her a week to recover from a party or family gathering and talking on the phone is torture for her. She didn't get that from me. I hope I didn't talk too much and make you feel uncomfortable. I'm alone most of the time, so meeting someone with my same interests got me all excited. I'm looking forward to the next meet-up. I hope you'll be there.

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  7. Hope, my heart was racing just reading this! GOOD FOR YOU for going!!! That was not easy. But you did it! WOO HOO!!!

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  8. Hope,
    It was great meeting you yesterday and I am looking forward to getting to know you better. Now, I am off to check out your Etsy shop.

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  9. I never would have guessed you were nervous!! You seemed totally relaxed to me! When I was chatting with both Bonnie and Kim we spoke of how our friends that don't blog don't really get it~ so it is a real treat to spend actual time with fellow bloggers who automatically do get it and we can discuss issues with understanding! Even though we are all different we had so much in common instantly, it was like we all knew each other~ I'm sure next time will be even better~
    Jenna

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    1. Jenna- I was so beyond nervous.I'm glad it didn't show. It really was a great experience and I can't wait to hang out again!! :)

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  10. Hope, it was great to meet you. I, too, sometimes have trouble meeting groups of strangers, so I can appreciate the soaring anxiety and sweaty palms.

    I think you did great! And I'm glad to finally meet you.

    I hope to see you in Birmingham for more meetups and Y'all Connect in June.

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  11. My dear sweet girl, I hate to hear you were suffering so! I had no idea you were under such anxiety. You covered it we and did not seem nervous at all. I truly enjoyed talking to you and would love to visit with you more!! I can tell you have a lovely spirit and you are super talented. I have been drooling over your creations!! Looking forward to getting to know you better and spending more time with you!

    Peace,
    Debbie

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    1. Debbie- Once we got on a roll with the meeting, I felt much better. The kindness and warmth of each of you there really helped the issue. It was awesome meeting you as well, and I'm so looking forward to more time with you also. Thanks for your sweet words and encouragement, it means so very much!

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  12. Congrats on taking such a huge step. My husband also battles social anxiety so I have seen just how much it can paralyze a person.

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  13. Hope, I got so anxious just reading this post! I'm glad your husband "made"you go! I would love to meet some beady people in N Florida to play with but I also get that sick stomach when it comes to meeting new people. I prefer to stay home where it's comfy and safe!

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    1. Cory - I'm so very glad Pat made me go too. It was definitely what I needed. Comfy and safe is totally preferable. Here's hoping you find something similar in North Florida as well as the gumption to go! :)

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