Do You Remember Your First?
Do you remember the first time you rode a bike?
Your first school dance?
Your first kiss?
What about your first website? First client? First live event?
My week was full of so many firsts. I'll be processing everything that's happened for weeks. First solo trip without hubby and kids. First time in NYC. By day 3 I was missing my kids big time. And by day 4 they were melting down & missing me too. And since returning home I've been bombarded with snuggles, I love you's, I miss you's, look what I made for you's - everything that says we're both really glad I'm home.
I attended my first business conference, Rad Fest Live, which will forever stand out in a class all its own. I have a sneaking suspicion there aren't any conferences out there where you laugh so much, cry so hard, dance like no one is watching (and any time we needed to shift the energy) dropped all the masks, shared secret dreams and sacred space with women from around the world. Got hypnotised by the best (and hoped it worked). Listened to the most courageous truth-telling from speakers and fellow attendees - and felt the rise and fall of each of their journeys in your chest.
As a highly sensitive introvert, it was all a little overwhelming but also oh so worth it. I connected with dozens of women, introduced myself to even more and pushed myself to keep socialising and stay out and stay up until the wee hours of the morning every night. Because maybe for the first time I was willing to sacrifice sleep (good looking photo ops) and quiet space alone (without resentment or hesitation) so I could connect with the faces & voices & beautiful souls I'd been strategizing with & sympathising with and supporting...for months. Somehow there was so much left unsaid between the screens. So you squeezed in every second just to share wisdom, belly laughter, tears & hugs.
And then you meet new women and retell your story with fresh words and fresh insights. You hear yourself and your journey echoed back to you. You have socially awkward moments and learn to put hands on the hearts of strangers. Touch foreheads with a woman you just met. And it's beautiful and strange and new. The thing you always sort of guessed was missing but never had a name for.
First time doing a group meditation, not over Zoom.
First time shaking hands with, taking pics with, sharing space with the online mentors who inspire you.
And being inspired.
The emotions & energy so palpable you could reach out your arms and swirl your fingers through it.
First time dancing choreography with a Tony & Emmy award-winning choreographer who used to bring you to tears with her work on So You Think You Can Dance. And being blown away by the wisdom she spoke (despite being completed fucked once we started adding turns into the routine).
First time having secret visualisations only ever scribbled into my journal talked about out loud and brought to life by the leaders who could never have known.
First time listening to spoken word poetry live and being brought to tears by its beauty, truth and power.
First time having pizza in a restaurant that was formally a church, stained glass windows and all. Stumbling upon unexpected gems are the best right? And first time doing a Facebook live from the top of the Empire State Building because...tourist moment.
First time feeling so connected to, uplifted by and safe with a huge group of women.
All of this awesomeness and I went in worried about my elevator pitch. Turns out there's so much more you can talk about than prepared sound bites. And passion + enthusiasm for what you do trumps everything - even having a clear direction of where you're headed. That's when people ask for your card because of you. It's so much less about the what and how of what you do. Honestly, I talked very little shop but handed out enough cards I had to restock my wallet.
I still haven't unpacked all of my firsts. I haven't had time to debrief with friends, review my notes...or sleep.
I can't wait.
I can't wait for the wisdom that soaked into my soul without me even realising it, to surface.
I can't wait to write about it and share it with you.
I can't wait to continue to nurture the relationships that have started and strengthened by being there.
I can't wait to snuggle into my bed and catch up on hours and hours and hours of sleep.
I can't wait to do it all over again.
What's your favourite first? Tell me all about it in the comments.