Loretta's Countdown to 60

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

I am not…

This last weekend I helped coordinate a big event in Redondo Beach. It’s called FierceCon. The founder of The Forever Fierce Revolution, Catherine Grace O’Connell wanted to create an event to bring together women from her community.

From all over the world.

I wanted to write about my experience there, but when Linda Williams shared her experience with the group, I was moved beyond measure. I believe her words speak the truths of many of us there.

 

My Experience at FierceCon 2018 Rewire & Inspire, by Linda Williams

I am not.

That is what I have spent the past year saying every day, and I didn’t even realize it.

You probably don’t know me because I am not a blogger, I am not an Instagrammer, I am not a corporate executive at the moment, I am not thin, I am not beautiful, I am not young, I am not photogenic, I am not outgoing,

I am not comfortable at a party with people I don’t know, I am not a good piano player, I am not as accomplished as others, I am not as smart, I am not a mother, I am not a joiner..you get the idea. (For those who know me well I know they will read this and scratch their head saying WTF what is she talking about. ).

But that is the tape that plays in my head for the past year and I think until this weekend at FierceCon I didn’t even hear it anymore, it had become part of my mental wiring. Put me in a professional situation or at home, I have many close friends, and I am a connector of people in my world. I am in command, confident, and driven but socially with people I don’t know I shrink.

It was such a treat to meet the women of the FiercerFierce volunteer team ( and their extraordinary husbands) in real life. They are the friends I didn’t realize I had and I adore them.

The first night was a reception party ( my worst nightmare is a party where I know only a few people and will cling to them like a life raft). I helped check people in because as long as I had a job to do then I am comfortable.

The only photo I have from that night, of Linda

As I watched the other women interact ( I’m an observer of people) most knew each other or of each other and it was lovely to see them together. But I am not one of them. I am that awkward looking 12-year-old girl who loved books and her closest friend was the children’s reference librarian. The girl who was smart and would read books  out loud to her beautiful mini-collie Bonnie.

I had the reading comprehension of a college freshman but the senior and the social skills of a 2nd grader.

Over the next few days at FierceCon,I had the opportunity to meet many of the women one-on-one and quickly saw there was a common theme among us all. We believe in Catherine and her mission of changing the perception of women at midlife; how we see ourselves and how the world and advertisers see us, that we must embrace everything about ourselves as individuals and not worry about what the rest of the world thinks.

And for every person I spoke to, thank you for being you and I truly loved meeting each and every one of you.

On Saturday we had the gift of David Ji Between his guided meditation and live interview, I felt he was there just for me because everything he said held meaning and insight. I was captivated by his wisdom and his humor.

Moving on in the day we heard two panels of women share their stories.

Every. Single. One. Had a story that got to the heart of all the things I want to be and want to do.

They were brave, funny, smart, insightful and willing to share the good and the bad with the audience. I took away several nuggets from each speaker that I vowed to incorporate into my own life. In some ways the insight and emotions were overwhelming, and at times I felt uncomfortable and wanted to retreat but I was meant to hear those stories.

Watch the video replay; I can promise you that you will be fundamentally changed in some big or small way by the time it’s over.

Thank you Janet Gunn Norton Linda Barnby Jacqueline DepaulJan CorrellWendy Packer Cathy Terrell Williamson Tamara BatsellRose Dalton Patricia O’Reilly Talbot Tamara Batsell Catherine Coluccio

Saturday early evening we had a group photo shoot. YAY?

I may have mentioned that I am not photogenic, I am not an Instagrammer, and I am not comfortable being in the spotlight, so a photo shoot is WAY out of my comfort zone.

I am still that chubby 12-year-old girl with the really bad haircut and a mouthful of braces and I have the photographic evidence to prove it. Watching how comfortable most of the women were, and just being in the moment and (not in their head) having fun made me wish I could be that way.

But I am not like them.

On Sunday we had the honor of having Peter Lee, the CEO of Saranghae Skin Care give the keynote speech. Listening to him share his story of failures and success, watching him be authentic and genuinely being engaged with our group somehow created a shift in me and things started to fall into place.

One of my dear friends Daria Mathew joined me at FierceCon and asked me ( more than once) what’s wrong with you? You’re not talking about yourself, you are so accomplished and have so much to offer. I just kept shutting myself down and off, but I didn’t realize anyone else could see that.

Did I mention that I’m not a sharer of my personal experiences because who cares and I’m not that interesting?

It was on the flight home that I began to put the mosaic of the weekend’s experience together and found clarity. The weekend was about rewiring and inspiring, so I decided to share my experience at FierceCon with you. And I also want to share something else.

Starting today, I am not going to waste one more day worrying about what I am not.

12 Comments

  1. Stephanie Skelly

    2018-10-23 at 09:13

    I just finished reading this in the group when I saw you had posted it! I related to so much it was good to read it again. I hope Linda will consider writing and sharing more, too, through a blog or something else.

    Thank you, Loretta, for sharing your story and others’!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-10-23 at 10:33

      Wasn’t it so moving and inspiring??

      Now she can say….I am an inspiration. I am a guest blogger. I am…

  2. You, my friend, are one of the brainiest, most insightful and business-savvy women I’ve ever had the opportunity to “cyber meet” and worked with #grateful.

    I adore you, your zen calmness no matter how many fires are a blaze around you. Your kind and loving spirit humbles me.

    Well done to both of you.

    Xo, Jonet

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-10-23 at 10:34

      Jonet, you said it all! Linda can now add, “I am in inspiration!” to her long list of “I am’s”

  3. jodie filogomo

    2018-10-23 at 09:23

    It’s amazing how we all feel this way even into adulthood!!
    Linda’s words are so powerful, yet this group can inspire us to throw off that blanket and be so much more!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-10-23 at 10:34

      It is amazing Jodie. Linda is a true inspiration to us all, in so many ways. I was so touched by her words.

  4. Wow! This is a powerful post! Thank you Linda for sharing your insights. You are an excellent writer! I felt I was right there with you, feeling what you were feeling.
    Remember you are not…alone! We all have so much in common! I wish I could’ve made the event, but I was living through it via Facebook/Instagram. I’m so glad there are many posted videos and pictures. Looks like such a fun and meaningful event.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-10-23 at 12:30

      Didn’t she do an amazing job of sharing such a deeply emotional weekend? We wish you were there too Cindy. And you were in our hearts all weekend.

  5. Well done Linda and thanks Loretta for sharing. It sounds like an amazing, inspiring event. x

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      2018-10-24 at 07:52

      I had to share Linda’s thought provoking post. This event was life-changing for many.

  6. Hi!
    It’s time for all of us to say to ourselves, “I Am.” 🙂 <3
    Angie
    http://www.yourtrueselfblog.com

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