AWBU 2011 Changed My Life by Heidi Clark
Written by Heidi Clark of The Busy Nothings
Do you ever look back at a time or event and see now that it was life changing? Perhaps you understood a little bit of that at the time, but the true depth of it escaped you for a bit longer.
I look back at Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged last June as one of those moments. I was like a geeky fan at a celebrity event, except everyone there, however polished and with however many blog numbers, was that same geeky person
inside. It was like a family reunion with people I *wanted* to be with- no matter what we looked like or blogged about.
What this weekend was to me was more than just a weekend vacation from my kids. It was more than a scenic drive into the middle of nowhere. That weekend changed my life- I awoke, was reborn or whatever cliche, cheesy phrase will fit here. I felt alive again!
I could write a blog post on my top reasons you should attend #AWBU and it would be a great blog post, however I feel this post should all be about how that weekend affected ME personally, because, I’m a blogger and well, that’s what I do best…
4 ways AWBU changed my life:
1. I finally understood what all an online community was about . People who understood me, knew more than me and wanted to share their information with me. I felt my heart pounding when the reality that these people were for REAL sunk in. I felt home.
2. I’d experienced blogger cliques before. I was nervous going to the AWBU weekend, but I figured that at a minimum I’d at least learn something. I think every meal I sat with someone different and people eagerly engaged in conversation with me. It wasn’t networking, it was friend making.
3. I hadn’t realized how depressed I had been. That I felt guilty feeling unfulfilled staying at home with my 2 kids. My husband had lost his job the month before and I was still trying to deal with that on top of everything else. Being with people who were honest and transparent about their struggles was refreshing in a way that I never knew I was missing so much. Just not feeling alone is healing in of itself.
4. I learned to believe in myself for the first time in my life. I never took my writing seriously and then in the middle of a session, in front of a group, Beth Stephens told me that she thought I was a very gifted writer. In that moment, a part of me that I had repressed for years came alive again. I wasn’t pretending to be a writer, I WAS a writer.
The truth is that AWBU changed my life. I now have a very challenging and fulfilling job at at a company that was a sponsor at AWBU actually- and I can honestly say everything started that weekend. I’m sad to be missing this year’s AWBU but I’m there in spirit and hope that some new blogger has the same experience that I did. Welcome!
There is still time to register for AWBU 2012. You can find more information here.