Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Scaring Myself to Death (via the 2:1 Conference)

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

So, there I was shivering in the chill wind watching – trying to take my cues from the more seasoned travelers around me. I wanted to affect a cool and aloof, sorta bored, look. It was so cold that if anyone saw me shaking in fear, they'd just think I was shivering to keep warm. I even managed to chit chat with a nice looking couple I sized up as safe. I may be a senior citizen but I know the rule about stranger danger.

I was doing pretty well at the 'been here, done this before' affectation till a shuttle pulled up with my hotel name on it. I prepared to hop in and was struggling with my duffel when the happy looking driver asked if I was going to Chantilly.

I choked off the urge to reply, “HUH? I ain't from around here! Where 'zactly IS that?” and fumbled for my hotel print out instead. After showing him the street addy of my hotel, we agreed that he was not, in fact, my driver. He promised my driver would be around momentarily. Easy for him to say. He was in the shuttle out of the biting wind. Being warm makes you happy. I figured that out.

Courtesy T. Parker
I shrugged at the nice couple still perched on the bench and resumed my wait wondering how on earth I was going to know who I was looking for! Shortly, a pleasant lady approached the same bus and was also waved away. She looked a bit disconcerted but not panic stricken like you-know-who.

I hemmed and hawed a bit while my brain arm wrestled with my heart. “Go ask her. I bet she's headed for the same hotel...maybe even the same conference,” said my head.

My quaking heart replied, “Are you crazy? Open your mouth and admit you are a bumpkin? You ain't from around here, and you don't belong! Play it cool. This interlude will be over before you know it.”

Courtesy A. Squires
You'd be so proud. My head won for a change! “Uh...'scuse me ma'am, are you waiting for the next shuttle?” She allowed that she was, in fact, headed for my conference. What's more, she was from the south too, so I didn't need a translator app on a smart phone for us to communicate! YIPPPEEEE! I had a partner in traveling crime and could make the last hop while clinging to an unsuspecting fellow traveler like a symbiotic twin. What she didn't know wouldn't embarrass me!

In the next few minutes, a whole group of strange faces was assembling around me. And, they all seemed to KNOW each other already thanks to the wonders of the blogging and Twitter universe. Geez.

I had just found my potential comfort zone, aka symbiotic twin, and now here I was feeling like the 5th wheel on a 3-wheeler. I was a day late and dollar short to the party. Loser. Why do I do stuff like this to myself? Soon as that plane hits pay dirt back home, I'm never leaving again, you hear?

Courtesy A. Squires
Here's the moral of my sad tale even tho' it's taking me a while to get there: life isn't nearly as scary as we make it out to be. We build things up in our minds and decide everyone else but us fits in while we languish as a misfit. They will succeed when we only falter. We struggle less to achieve more, etc, etc, etc. Before we know it, we've paralyzed our hopes and dreams and our ability to reach for them.

Know how I know? Because I went, I saw, and I came home feeling like I had a new lease on life. It's gonna take me a while to fill you in. You know me. I'm a story teller not a bullet list maker.

My knowing all started at breakfast on Saturday when 2 of the ladies, Connie and Not Penny (1st name Not, 2nd name Penny), grabbed me as I passed and called me by name. Hello. We'd spent all of 15 minutes together, and they knew my name. I figured they were either 2 exceedingly wonderful women, or my bumpkin quotient had really caught their attention. Oh dear Lord, let it be the former and not the latter!

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Lo and behold, that was the beginning of new and encouraging things. If you don't come back tomorrow, you'll never know how and why a fraidy cat (who married a geek and birthed 2 so she wouldn't have to BE one) locked horns with Twitter and made a new Facebook page for this blog. All in the same day! If I keep hanging around with these folks, I might possibly be persuaded to get on a plane again. Just one more time. That's it. Then, I'm done. I know I am. Really.

Love you long and strong fraidy cat. We've cried together this last year, and now we are taking some time to laugh and to stand amazed at what a difference a weekend can make. Do you know someone whose bones are crunched by life right now? Bring 'em back with you tomorrow. Tell them it's safe to come in from the cold. All fraidy cats are welcome here! But, you knew that, didn't you?

 2:1 Conference

Proverbs 16: 9 (The Message)
We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it.

Jeremiah 10: 23 (NIV)
I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps. 



  1. I love you so, Carol Anne! I cannot wait until we can be together again. :) ~Not Head Penny

  2. Dear, Not-Penny: I am so thankful for you and for your inspiring and wonderful welcome to the conference and then to the wild world of twitter. You are definitely one of those people in life with whom I felt an instant connection. Maybe because we are both knot-heads? Oh, I HOPE to see you again and sooner rather than later!

  3. Oh, Carol Anne! I had no clue you were shaking in fear. You seemed very friendly and assured. That's one thing that drew this Yankee-born southern girl to you. I loved you instantly! I am so blessed to have met you, and I know I'll be seeing you next year at 2:1 Conference. I just know it.

    1. I was terrified. You 2 were like Xanax for me! ;-)

  4. "I hemmed and hawed a bit while my brain arm wrestled with my heart."

    And you say you're not a good writer. Hahahahaha! Funny!

    So glad you had a good time and are beginning to realize the doors God is opening (and expecting you to enter). :-)

  5. ((Vonda)) For all the days I wanted to quit and didn't, I thank you. Even in the hardest times this winter, I knew I had to start again because I could hear your 'voice' saying, "I have a bone to pick with you." I knew something in my life was about to change in the next sentence. You were God's messenger, and the change began. Love you long and strong. Always.