I'm trying to learn about successful blogging from the blogs I read.
Only, I don't really read successful blogs. I read blogs that stir a sense of connection between me and the author.
I don't read blogs for edification, I guess. I read blogs because I don't get to go have coffee with friends often.
And that statement just hit me...in my mom's generation, friends went to each other's homes to have coffee. Now they go to Starbucks. But that's a digression.
Anyway, I often find myself skimming by posts that describe events people attended. And if that's the case...there's not much point into going into details about this year's women's conference. At least, not from the standpoint of providing information for my readers. So I'll skip the details of an absolutely amazing conference and cut to my take home message.
There was a big difference in my conference experience last year and my conference experience this year. If I had any doubts about the growth and healing that has taken place in the past twelve months, all I have to do is look at the mess I was in virtually every session last year. Last year I was dealing with a wound that was still raw. This year, I found myself contemplating other areas in which I need to grow and mature and open up.
Several areas were addressed, but the one that resonated in me as MY take away had to do with isolation.
And I know it is my take away because it surfaced last weekend; it was already on my heart before the Friday night speakers spoke to it and prayed over it.
Last week, we did a video shoot in the mountains in Tennessee for background video for our conference closer. There were about 80 of us that rode vans and carpooled and such up to a wedding venue on a really back road. We all got various stripey designs on our faces; I took a rather bad selfie of myself with the paint on:
But...here's the deal...I'm in my selfie by myself. All around me, ladies were taking photos of themselves with their friends, sharing the experience.
I'm in my selfie by myself.
Part of this is a technical difficulty; I don't have a smartphone so I have to use my tablet, which is two-handed awkward and, at best, takes rather grainy photos. So it would have taken some effort for me to grab someone and take a photo and I just couldn't muster the oomph to mess with the tablet enough to get a picture. And I was reluctant to try to explain my camera to someone so I could get a photo of me with anybody.
But part of it is also that I am not selfie-close-buddies with anyone. I rode in the van, and I made new friends whom I enjoyed talking with very much, but they were part of the groups of other folks.
I actually looked around at the other ladies laughing and taking photos, and found myself wishing I was 'selfie-close' friends with someone.
Now, I knew nearly all of them at some level. And we are smile-and-greet-and-hug compatible. But I have somehow not gotten past that.
I have written about this before, my seeming inability to let my walls down enough to be close and vulnerable and mutually supportive with others. I did not have this issue when I was younger; it's definitely a product of aging. And it rests entirely on me.
Somehow, I have gotten so busy and so consumed with all that is to be done on so many areas that I've totally forgotten how to be a friend.
One of the speakers reminded us that we had to be intentional to leave space in our lives for other people.
For me, this was my assignment as I left.
Embrace friendship again.
A friend of mine got this on her camera; it's not a produced video so the technical quality detracts considerably from the experience of being in the sanctuary, but you can get an idea of the closer and how the video footage worked with the live presentation to send everyone out: