It was by far the most beneficial and applicable session I’ve been to because that’s what I’m attempting to do in this space…tell my story.
Her points were that every authentic story has a setting, REAL characters, conflict and YOU have a story to tell.
Using those elements I want to authentically share my Blissdom story with you today.
Blissdom moved from the Gaylord Opryland in Nasheville, TN to the Gaylord Texan in Dallas, TX this year. The Gaylord Texan was a beautiful hotel that wasn’t quite as overwhelming as the Opryland.
On the first day of the conference, I did a photo walk around the hotel with photographer Anna Epp.
It was wonderful to have such an amazing photographer right there to offer advice and tips on this photo walk.
I accomplished a huge goal of mine on this photo walk…I took every single one of my pictures on full manual and I’m mostly happy with them. Score for the amateur photographer!!!
The characters in this story are the amazing bloggers and speakers I spent time with over the weekend.
I had a blast meeting with my blogging friends and getting to know so many new (to me) bloggers!
I loved getting to know my roommate, Debra. I stayed up way past my bedtime chatting with her every night, but I loved it!! Really getting to know other people and their stories is what thrills me. I do have to apologize to her for falling asleep while talking the last night…I was exhausted!
As always I wish I had taken more pictures of the amazing women I met.
All of the speakers were incredible again this year!
I am a huge Lisa Leonard fan. I love her jewlery, her craft, her style, and her heart.
While walking through the Handmade Market on Thursday evening (wearing my nametag) Lisa referred to me by name and I totally embarrassed myself for thinking if only for a moment that she actually knew me.
I really gleamed a lot and was encouraged by her session on telling your authentic story. By that time I was feeling lost and it was so applicable to what I do that it truly made me feel as if I truly belonged.
Thank you, Lisa, for being so gracious and real!
Jon Acuff was so motivating in both his session and in his closing Keynote address. He was also very generous and showed much love to Blissdom attendees by giving everyone an exclusive copy of his new book, Start, which isn’t even released yet.
I started reading it on the American Airlines flight home and it is really giving me a lot to process…you’ll be hearing more about my thoughts soon!
And now, for the hard part…conflict.
Conflict in our stories doesn’t always have to be dramatic and life changing.
It can be something small like slipping on water from melted ice that fell out of your freezer door and face planting on your kitchen floor (yes, I did that last night).
The conflict I experienced at Blissdom was not dramatic or life changing, but it was a heart conflict that I have struggled with for quite some time. I have to admit that this conflict has created some degree of hurt if I am to be authentic and honest with you.
For the first time in my three years attending Blissdom, I really and truly felt as if I didn’t belong and it hurt to feel this way about something that I have loved so much.
I have been blogging for over five years and have attended Blissdom three times within those five years.
I have written 1,769 posts and have received 8,447 comments on this blog.
I love blogging and the blogging community that I am a part of.
But over the years I have made the decision to remain a hobbyist blogger.
I have not turned my blog into a business…on purpose.
No, I don’t make money on this blog and I don’t have the desire to do so.
And, no, I don’t have three heads growing out of my neck. I just truly believe there is more in life to attain than the acumination of more and more money and material “stuff”.
This sets me apart from the majority of the bloggers in attendance at Blissdom. I know this and I have dealt with this every single year that I have attended Blissdom because I love blogging, the blogging community and the time away to learn more about those things that I love and do just for FUN.
This year I felt made fun of, ignored and dismissed in many instances.
On Friday morning, I decided that this would be my last time attending Blissdom. It was a sad realization that I just didn’t fit there anymore. I choked down tears as I chatted with my husband about this and he offered support and encouragement as he always does.
I didn’t let this decision cloud the remainder of my time at Blissdom, though.
I attended every session and got every single bit of encouragement, motivation and practical information I could out of them.
I met new and old friends.
I tried not to waste my time on the self-important people that I encountered, but I invested much time listening to and having deep conversations with many others.
I am confident in who I am and who I want to be as a blogger.
I am thankful to Blissdom for having encountered this conflict year after year.
I am thankful for the fun times that I have had at Blissdom both this year and in years past…for the laughter, for the conversations, and for the inspiration.
Thank you Alli, for this wonderful conference and the impact it has had in my life.
Thank you for the atmosphere you have strived to create to motivate women to do great things with their passions!