So remember way back in OCTOBER when I went to Allume….and how in just about every 7 Quick Takes link-up from September on (probably earlier than that even ha) I mentioned Allume and how I was super excited to go…then I went and I am that bad blogger that never even wrote a reflection/blog post about my experience.
After the conference I was filled with so many ideas, thoughts, and business cards (no joke I have a pile of about 20 cars sitting in my desk). I just didn’t know WHAT to write. I heard so many opinions and stories. I heard comments wanting to know why a Catholic could go to such a conference and not be weirded out. Multiple people found out I was Catholic or knew I was Catholic by reading my blog prior to the conference and asked me if anything made me “uncomfortable.” I was just overwhelmed by everything I clammed up and didn’t write anything.
Then the next thing I knew it was Thanksgiving, school finals, and Christmas came and went and I realized I had never written down my thoughts on the conference. So here are my thoughts, feelings, emotions, and other things that I have learned and remember from the conference.
To clear things up I didn’t feel weird or uncomfortable at all during the conference because I am Catholic. Contrary to what most people think all Catholics aren’t super serious like people think. For a good part of my life I went to mass that used contemporary music, drums, and guitars. It’s my favorite way to celebrate mass and I really miss it. We all have the same goal..to get to heaven and we all love Jesus.
Before I went to Allume I was in a weird place with my blog. I loved blogging. I loved the community it has created for me. I love the people I have met. I love everything about it…but I wasn’t really blogging/writing all that often. 90% of my blog posts were link-ups. I was in this place where I felt I wasn’t good enough to blog. I would read other blogs and the content and the words were so much better than anything I have written. Way better than anything I was ever working on. Way better than anything I was capable of writing. Most days I feel like I go unnoticed, and unheard (in real life and online). I feel like my words don’t matter because there are a million other blogs out there that are way more profound than I am able to be. Then I went to Allume and all those negative thoughts went out the window.
At Allume I learned so many things about myself and about others. I learned that we all have a voice that god gave us and we have a story to share. I learned that no matter how many other people may have written what you are about to write there may be that one reader that finds your blog and you change their life forever. I learned how to take awesome iPhone photos and edit them (post coming soon on this), I learned how to “master” social media, I learned about writing the hard stories, and how to encourage others instead of competing with them.
I met so many people that weekend. Many that I felt were “Famous” in my eyes like Amy Lynn Andrews from Blogging With Amy, Lisa Jo Baker, and Amanda from Oh Amanda, and so many others! Fun fact: my sister had pinned a ton of Amanda’s blog posts on her wedding board and it was fun to tell her that and meet her in person. The coolest session was I learned more about Operation Christmas Child and I got to meet a young man, Alex, that received a box as a child and how it changed his life forever!
But none of us feel famous. We’re just writers sharing our words and our stories with other people on the internet in the hopes that someone will hear our words.
I learned that blogging is a healing process for me. It’s something I need to do in order to feel better. Those months I barely ever blogged I was in such a bad place emotionally. The weeks where I actually stop, put my thoughts down and blog (or at least write in my private journal on evernote) I’m emotionally in a better place. I learned that I need to finish my Dad’s website. He helped so many people and changed so many people’s lives that other people need to know about it. I’ve gotten so many emails and messages about the site over the last 6 months it’s been an amazing healing experience. When I started the site I figured no one would read it. Then I started blogging about it in October and now his facebook page has over 100 likes!
Allume was my first big blogging conference and it was overwhelming but it definitely won’t be my last. I am already signed up for iRetreat in June.
I want to give a big shoutout to Alia Joy that saw me wandering around and let me hang out with her and her friends on Friday night! And we even took a photo together!
One thing I did learn from this conference is yes I can go to things like this alone where I know no one but in all honesty I’d rather not. So in June when I go to iRetreat I have two tickets and my mom is going to join me at the conference. I’m trying to get my cousin to join me as she is meeting me at Hershey anyway and I really want her to start blogging and even start a business of some kind so she can leave her stressful job…she is really talented with graphics…but I haven’t gotten that far. I’m hoping in March when she come down for my sisters wedding I’ll be able to talk her into it.