When I signed up to help coordinate the FierceCon event, I had no idea exactly what I had gotten myself into. Or how all consuming it would be in the end.
But I’m so glad I did.
When Catherine Grace O’Connell approached me with her plan for a weekend dedicated to bringing women together, I was intrigued. I’ve enjoyed meeting many of my online friends, and definitely wanted to get the chance to meet more.
But I also knew I’d be volunteering a lot of time and energy.
When I was introduced to Catherine’s team of educated, talented women, I was intimidated at first. These women had been working together for months already and were very tight.
The old high school feeling of not fitting in, or worse, not being accepted, took about one day to hit me. I spent weeks wondering just what the hell I thought I was doing and why I kept trying to fit in where I didn’t belong.
Each Tuesday we would “meet” on a Zoom call and discuss ideas and strategies.
I immediately felt like a fish out of water.
They all had an ease together and I was sure they were wondering why in the world Catherine decided I was, all of a sudden, the “event coordinator.” I almost quit a couple of times.
They also added me to their messenger chat group so we could bounce ideas off one another. These women were so gooey and sweet I thought, “Nobody is this nice.” They even called each other “sister”.
Was I in some sort of cult??
So in my usual testing fashion, I threw it out to the chat group that I was an atheist. That will get them to throw me out of the club for sure!
But that didn’t happen.
Nope, instead they just embraced me more and all of a sudden I started to lighten up. Maybe my perception of these women was slightly skewed by my own insecurities?
Little by little, one by one, I got to know each of them, if only online. And before I knew it, the week of the event was upon us all.
There was no holding back for me now. No hiding behind my criticisms of “I’m not into fashion” or “They only want the ‘big players’ there.” I had promised to be the ‘day of coordinator’, and I had a job to do.
I was looking forward to the weekend…. but was apprehensive as well.
Catherine not only asked me to help coordinate the event, but sensing I have a need to be accepted, she put me front and center. She asked me to be a part of the Live stream and to moderate a panel of women for her “Beachside Chats” on Saturday.
I didn’t know it at the time, as I thought she just needed help, but I’ve come to realize, she has a gift when it comes to reading women and understanding their fears.
Event wise, the weekend went off perfectly. Friday night’s gala reception was a blast.
Saturday morning we were led in meditation by DavidJi and each one of us were glued to our seats when he gave his hour-long talk.
The Beachside Chats brought laughter and tears, joy and sorrow, fear and courage, and most of all a connection to all who were in the room.
By Saturday early evening, when we were meeting at the Pier for a group shot, most of us were spent emotionally. So much happened and few of us really understood the impact it was having on us.
It will take days or longer to understand the power of this gathering. I know for myself, I am still reeling from it all and doing my best to come to grips with my own insecurities.
I’m glad I stepped outside myself and moved passed my anxiety to join in. I learned a lot about so many women there, but I learned even more about myself.
Who would have thought a little get together could be so powerful for so many of us who joined…
Please read Linda’s post from yesterday to get a further understanding of the impact this had on so many.