MAMAS HEAR ME OUT! If there’s something in your life you’ve been wanting to do…run a mile, learn photography, go on a wine night with friends, restart your career, GET OUT AND DO IT! I’m telling you the hardest part is just getting yourself out the door. Case in point, last week, I had the opportunity to attend The ATX Blogger Mixer hosted by fellow Austin blogger, Jesse Coulter. Earlier that week I had been mindlessly scrolling Instagram before bed and came across details about the event on her feed. I clicked on the link and signed myself up without hesitation. The moment I pressed “attend”, that’s when the self-doubt rolled in. What do I know about social media? I’ll probably be the oldest one in the room! I’m so awkward meeting new people. What am I going to talk about? The self-doubt was so strong that I begged one of my besties and veteran bloggers to fly in to attend the event with me. She tried but, for obvious reasons, my plan didn’t work out and I was forced to attend the event, gulp, A-L-O-N-E! I’m a 36-year-old woman, I’ve had a career before children and I didn’t know a single person that was going to be there. Why in the world was this event getting me so worked up? What did I have to prove? But then I realized, I had to prove to myself that I could do it. That, although I had been out of the game for quite some time raising my Littles, I’ve still got it and I can be just as successful at this as anyone else. So that night, I threw on my favorite top, a pair of jeans and the most comfortable heels I own and made my way down to the Erin Condren flagship store in The Domain.
I arrived at the store and gave myself a last minute pep talk before walking up the rainbow-colored steps to my very first blogging event. I introduced myself to Jesse and made a mad dash for the bar! A little liquid courage never hurt anyone, right?! The event was catered by Austin Cocktails, Mia Italian Tapas & Bar and Sprinkles cupcakes. This Mama was in heaven! The leftover boxed macaroni & cheese and fruit from my daughters’ plate was NOT going to be my dinner tonight!
I grabbed my margarita and appetizer plate and made my way to the seating area. I walked up to a table and one of the women sitting there said, “I like your shirt!” This was it, I thought. This was my “in” to sit down at a table full of people instead of standing here by myself. That would have been perfect except for the fact that there were no chairs available at the table. Just my luck! I stood there for a moment, “Thank you”, I said, as I looked around the room for a chair. The only one available was a bar stool so I pulled it up to the table and sat down towering above everyone else. I couldn’t help but laugh at myself and as soon as a chair freed up, I rushed over and sat down to continue the conversation at an acceptable height. As awkward as that moment may or may not have been for me and everyone else, my heart was happy. I’ve always been a creative person and just being able to sit at a table with adults who are following their passion and doing something creative, was worth every awkward moment I may have had. I loved hearing the bloggers speak of their individual stories of why they began their blogs and their hesitations that they had about starting one and I was immediately inspired. No matter how many followers they had or how many months or years they had been doing it, there was a reason why they pushed aside all hesitations and continued to push forward. This was something I could relate to.
The inspiration continued when Jesse Coulter and later, Rebekah Epstein of Fifteen Media began speaking about how to pitch your blog to PR firms. I CAN DO THIS, I thought, as I listened to them talk. I WANT TO DO THIS, I said to myself. Suddenly the fear and doubt that I felt before walking into the mixer began to fade. I WAS EXCITED. I WAS CONFIDENT. I WAS INSPIRED. As much as I would have loved for my friend to have come here with me, I couldn’t help but think that I was meant to attend this event alone. I walked out of the ATX Blogger Mixer feeling like I could take on the blogging world! Now, this may or may not be true but, at that very moment, in my head, nothing could hold me back from making that a reality. To think I almost didn’t go because I tried to talk myself into believing that I had no place being there. As Moms, we often put everyone else’s needs before our own. Although my children are one of the most important pieces of who I am, I’ve learned that for me, I need to make time to do the things that made me happy before they became a part of my life. In all honesty, who knows what we will miss out on in life if we tell ourselves we’re too tired, we’re too old, we’ve been out of the game too long. We deserve to make our dreams a reality and from personal experience, I know we have it in us to be great! So, run that mile, sign up for that photography class, have a night out with your girlfriends, apply for that job. As you learn to make time for yourself, you’ll show your Littles that it’s never too late to follow your passion and do what you love!
~ This is My LIfe After Littles