As we usher in the new year, and begin dreaming of ways to make this year even better than the last, I thought I would share a very valuable experience I had a few weeks ago when I attended The Bloom Bash Workshop in Dallas, TX. I wanted to learn, create and cultivate. To come together with other creatives to learn new skills, create beautiful things and cultivate new friendships. Can I share something with you? I was really nervous to go and to be stepping outside of my comfort zone, and the thought of it all made me extremely uncomfortable.
I cannot remember where I saw it being talked about last year, but out of all of the workshops and conferences that I saw being promoted this one spoke to me the most. Two days of creating and learning. A place to be encouraged and learn from others. Totally up my alley so I signed up to go.
That was over a year ago. I had no idea what I would be doing a year from last November 2018 and it turned out that it wasn’t a very good time to take off for a few days. We just moved across the country and I was in the middle of a big project that had been holding our house hostage for a few weeks. I had a full time job to take time off from. I had boxes everywhere that were still packed up. Plus, I was a little afraid to step out of the comfort I had settled into so well and step into the uncomfortable place.
I was going to have to travel alone to a place I had never been, rent a car, stay in a hotel by myself for days and eat alone. Then I was going to have to talk to people. What if they didn’t like me? What if I was terrible at the new skills I was learning? What if none of any of this made a difference in my journey after all? What would I wear? And all of the feelings. Do you ever feel this way?
I have become really good at being home and talking to few people. I work from home, my husband works from home, I have plenty of things to keep me busy all of the time at home. I don’t have any friends in this new place yet so I don’t get invited to do anything. My kids are old enough now to entertain themselves with the new relationships they are developing with new people. I don’t have the luxury of meeting all of the moms at school like I did when they were all little. It is amazing how comfortable I have become.
So the truth is that I had tried really hard to NOT go once the time came. But, I had paid for it and it was kind of a lot of money. And is it really ever a great time to go out of town for a few days by yourself? No. So I decided to pull up my big girl pants and get on that plane and rent a car in Dallas. Thank goodness for Google Maps.
When I got to the hotel it was late afternoon. They put me into a room that literally looked at a wall. A 5′ wall was in front of my window and it made the room was dark and cold and it made me really unhappy. Since it was already a day of discomfort, I marched right down to the front desk and asked them to do better. My husband would have been so proud of me. I usually just accept things without fussing too much because it is uncomfortable for me to make a fuss. But not that day! They did do better and I ended up at the top of the hotel overlooking a beautiful lake in a nice big room.
The workshop was to start the next morning. All of the attendees of the workshop were placed into a Facebook group so we could all communicate. No one utilized it except for one other woman that I didn’t know named Tiffany. Her Facebook photo is of a photo of a group of people so I didn’t know which one was her. I had no idea what she even looked like! I chose to step into the discomfort once again and ask her to dinner. All of the same questions came flooding in. What if she didn’t like me? What if she had it all together way more than I do? What if we had nothing in common? Such ridiculous insecurities. I was still sitting in the most uncomfortable place that day so I went anyway.
It turns out that she is another creative who came to the workshop alone. A Geophysicist that works in Houston and is really nice, smart, creative. Her craft is beautiful. She makes handmade vintage ornaments and they are gorgeous. It is truly a lost art. After talking for a while she admitted she had all of the same feelings that I did coming to the event and coming to dinner and she also vacillated on coming. We ended up shutting down the restaurant and agreed to go to the event together in the morning.
The venue was so beautiful. It was held at White Sparrow Barn in Quinlan, TX outside of Dallas. I was not a “barn”. Not a stinky old barn that is cold and damp. But a beautiful place that makes me want to get married all over again – THERE! The grounds are gorgeous and there was so much beauty to take in.
I was pretty sure I was going to be the oldest woman in the room by at least a decade or more. That made me uncomfortable. What would I talk about with them? I would be like everyone’s mom and not taken seriously. Sometimes my children don’t take me seriously like I am not really a person with actual valid thoughts. It isn’t intentional, but they can’t help seeing me as “just mom”.
I chose to be confident and not let the discomfort rule the moment. I walked in and started to introduce myself. There were only 20 of us so it didn’t take much time to jump from group to group and introduce myself.
As the uncomfortable became comfortable I started to realize who these women were. Different women with so many different stories. A mom my age from Croatia, another from Tulum, a career prosecutor that wants to start a book club, an artist that does the most amazing water colors. Photographers, cookie decorators, wedding planners – the list goes on and on. I was the only DIY/Home creative but I quickly realized that we were all there for the same purpose – to connect with others and tap into our creative selves to grow. And I bet that some of them had the same insecurities that I had coming into the workshop.
I had an amazing four days of growth. It didn’t take much time to become comfortable and dive in to all we were doing. I am so glad that I went and had no idea the blessing that it would be to me. I want to encourage you to do the thing that is hard. You will never grow unless you stop walking around the discomfort and dive in instead. Head first!
I learned new skills, brushed up on old ones and received additional encouragement in things I already knew. Floral arranging with Amy Osaba , photography with Shauna Veasy (she showed me things I didn’t know on my camera), website analyzation and brainstorming with Rachel at Intentionally Designed, calligraphy with The Prairie Letter Shop, flat lays and so much more. We covered so much in a short amount of time.
Tiffany and I ended up driving to the event together both days and had dinner together every night, shutting the restaurants down. We talked all about the things that we love and had in common and brainstormed with each other about dreams we had. We encouraged one another and it was so rejuvenating. It was so much fun to hang out with other creatives. Sometimes when you have a family or a career you just lose the essence of who you are and forget about your passions.
If you are wanting to do something that makes you uncomfortable but it is stopping you from doing it, just know that you will be amazed at who you are when you come out on the other side of it. I want to encourage you to TRY.
You don’t have to travel to a workshop to grow. Hang that wall of pictures you have been putting off because you don’t know how to do it perfectly. Paint that bathroom vanity that you hate but can’t afford to replace. Bake and decorate those cookies you have been wanting to try. What are you afraid of? What is the worst that could happen? This is what I always ask myself. What is the worst case scenario in the situation? Once I list the WCS it actually takes away some of the discomfort. So, again, what if you try and fail? So what! But, what if you don’t? Sometimes the biggest failure is never trying in the first place.
Does all of this encouraging talk make me want to sky dive? The answer will always and forever be a resounding NO. But it has rejuvenated my passion to grow and learn new things. Even when it is uncomfortable. I would love to know what you want to try but are afraid to. Please let me know that I am not alone! Someone else might be feeling the same way, too.