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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Letting others in

I am back from ACFW. What a great conference!

It definitely was a different experience, being there as a board member. Mostly because I had that little sticker on my name badge saying "Board Member." For those of you who don't know me well, I am an introvert, and saying hi to someone I don't know well is an exercise in sheer terror. But this year, that little sticker made me step out and say hello to everyone I encountered. I think I even smiled at them without baring teeth and looking like a rabid dog. Since I represented an organization and not just me, I moved beyond myself and reached out to others. I know this will come as a great shock to other introverts, but it didn't kill me.

Some readers, especially those observing me with my peeps, may argue that I'm an extrovert, given my happiness and joy at being with said peeps. Sorry, but no. I was giddily happy to be with them, but mostly because they are my peeps, the ones who know me, the real me, and love me anyway. It's hard being a weird writer type. So even though being around people isn't very fun for me, being around the ones who know and love me is a wonderful feeling.

But now I am ready to crawl back into my hole and not have to smile at or be nice to another living being for a while now. Partially because in all that love and sharing and other usually yucky stuff, I managed to come home with a cold. I literally boarded the plane, and POOF! There it was. Thank you, strangers of whom I am usually afraid, for your gift. Now you know why I fear you. ;)

What did I learn at conference? Ummmmmmm....

I still can't tell you. Well, I could, but it would take about a year. Maybe longer. My friend on Twitter asked for a headline, and I'm not sure it really fit where I'm at. My precious friend Rachel Hauck sang the "W" song. I won't list it here, because it's one of the worst swear words a person can say, and I don't want to great struck by lightning. The "W" word has long been a thorn in my side. Partially it's about the writing, but it's also about a lot of other things in my life too. And the truth is, I'm tired. Which is why God is so gracious to me in bringing friends alongside me to hold me up, cheer me on, and be my peeps. All I know is that groundwork is being laid for God's work in me. What, I don't know. When, I don't know. Yet I am comforted knowing that I don't have to go through this alone.

As much as this introvert who would just as soon spend the rest of her life all by herself in a mountain cabin somewhere ala Unabomber, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I am learning not to be so afraid of people. And okay, while I have a captive audience, I may as well admit that I'd never be able to go without electricity and running water. I'm even willing to admit that I need people in my life. And I am so grateful for the ones who are there. Even during the rough times, they're willing to stay by my side. And a few of them are even willing to help me hide the bodies. ;)

So yeah, it was a good conference. Mostly because I was able to see beyond my fears and realize the amazing people God has put in my life. I'm still playing the "W" game, but it's a lot more bearable with the team I'm on.


Janna said...

It was so good to meet you at conference this year, Danica! And thank you so much for the card you brought me in the bookstore - that was so special!

Diane Marie Shaw said...

Danica, being an introvert too I totally understand. I have to push my self hard to be around groups of people unless they are my peeps, as you say.
When I have spent time at a gathering that lasts several days, like a conference, I need alone time because I am totally drained from the effort of being around so many people. My batteries are drained and it takes awhile to recharge.
Take the time you need and I pray that you find the direction God is leading you is one that is easy for you to slip into.

Danica Favorite said...

Janna, I'm glad you liked the card. We wanted to do something special for you to thank you for all your hard work.

Thanks Diane. I think I'm on the upswing of recharging.

Erin MacPherson said...

Hi Danica- I keep reading other blogger's stories about the conference and it sounds like it was amazingly fun! I'm so jealous... I might have to go next year!

Danica Favorite said...

Erin, here's hoping I'll meet you in St. Louis next year!