A few years ago Monica asked me if I wanted to go. She’d share a room with me and we could drive together. I was nervous, but I was completely thrilled. She wrote for Blissfully Domestic and knew a lot of the Blissdom ladies. I was just a tag-a-long, really. But something happened when we got there. I met people who became fast friends. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and introduced myself to people first and danced at the potato party and sang karaoke in front of people in my pajamas.
In 2010, something even bigger happened than stepping outside my comfort zone.
But if you want to know about the impact that Blissdom has had on me, I think it’s easier to just let you read what I wrote when I got home from that first Blissdom:
I could tell you a lot about Blissdom. I’m sure there will be hundreds of posts chronicling the sessions, the parties, the speakers, the food. Well-written posts about friendships made and cultivated, the beautiful Opryland Hotel and Harry Connick, Jr will surely be out there, too.
And although those things were awesome and I learned so much and met so many, something bigger happened.
Somewhere inside me, in that quiet little place that I sometimes hesitate to share with even my closest friends,
I felt a movement, a revolution.
There were times this weekend when I laughed so hard I cried.
There were times when I was my normal, loud-mouth self.
There were times I stepped outside my comfort zone.
But often I found myself just being quiet.
Watching others. Listening.
Listening to others and listening to that inner part of me that so frequently gets drowned out at home,
shushed and squashed by my to do list.
Blissdom was not a Christian conference.
Blissdom was not about religion or God.
Blissdom was not about growing in your faith
or becoming a better person.
But Blissdom was inspirational.
And Blissdom was educational.
And Blissdom changed me.
Over and over and over, whether in sessions or conversations or within my own mind,
the same three phrases kept re-surfacing:
Focus on what’s really important.
Not really novel concepts. Not something I hadn’t heard a hundred times before.
But exactly what I needed to hear,
what I wanted to hear,
what I was ready to hear.
Several panelists talked about finding your voice, but I realized that in order to find my voice, I must first find me.
I’ve gotten lost in the shuffle.
I’ve gotten wrapped up in things that don’t matter.
I’ve let some influence me too much, and others not enough.
It’s time for a change.