It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I not only met two incredibly dear friends as well as other friends with whom I'm still in contact, I also completely changed my study and career plans based on the course curriculum. But jumping into the unknown like that was such a learning experience.
I was sad to miss the first two years of the Blathering, I swore I'd go this year. And when it turned out that I'd be once again flying somewhere without having met anyone, I figured "Eh - you've done this before. It'll be fun."
But you guys? It was way better than I'd imagined.
These are the authors of blogs I've been reading for ages, sometimes for years. Following along with the triumphs and challenges of their lives, I feel like I've gotten to know them. So many of these folks feel like Kindred Spirits, people who just get it. And this weekend affirmed my suspicion - it's totally true. It's not often that you can plop into a room of over 40 women and immediately feel like you can just be you. But that's part of the magic of this gathering.
This weekend was an amazing blend of two things: discovering that the folks that I'd ho
ped were great were even greater, and finding a whole bunch of people who jumped immediately into the even greater camp. Sadly, there were a whole bunch of folks with whom I didn't get to spend much time. That's why I can't wait until next year's festivities. A'Dell - I'd be honoured to be deputized if you need another helping hand!
I do want to give some love to the people who made the weekend unforgettable:
- The Organizers, for all their hard, hard work. Amazing food, drink, decor, setting and atmosphere. And NO DRAMA. You ROCK.
- A'Dell, Emily, and Manda, with whom I'd like to shop for vintage goods and cowboy boots, eat ice cream and mock hippies each and every weekend.
- Jennie, Kristie, Kate, Carissa, Jess, Christina, and Elsha for all the Sunday shopping and pizza eating shenanigans. Thanks, Christina & Elsha, for the airport shenanigans, too.
- Elizabeth, Jonna, Kelly, Natalie, Natalie, Jen, Tara, Elisabeth, Sarah, Regan, Andrea, Sarah Lena, Erica, Erica, Erica, Heather, Julie, Julie, Shelly Miranda, Hillary, Michelle, Becca, -R-, Linnea, and all the rest of you with whom I didn't get to hang out nearly as much as I wanted to.
I wanted to spend more time with every single person I met. I guess that's on the 'To Do' list for next year. Until then - let me know if any of you want to come on up and visit Canada's capital city.
I'm pretty lucky, though -- these guys were waiting for me when I got home along with their sainted father. They make waiting for 2012's gathering worth it.