Well, here goes. My first attempt at increased vulnerability.
I ruined Blissdom for myself.
But Shelly, what do you mean? You made it seem like you had a really great time in your previous posts.
And here’s the part where I have to explain myself. I DID have a great time at Blissdom. I learned a few things. I was challenged to write with authenticity. And, best of all, I met some really wonderful people.
But still, I was ruined, in a way, because I allowed myself to go into the weekend with a bad attitude, and I stayed in a funk all weekend.
Hopefully, people who met me didn’t notice . . . too much . . . or else they were too kind to say anything. But I’m sure I conveyed a “standoffishness” that isn’t really me. At all. (I’ll let people who really know me chime in about that.)
But here’s the thing. I had been having a difficult couple of weeks prior to Blissdom. Winter and I are not on the best of terms, and emotionally I was feeling frail at best when I left for Nashville. Also, my grandmother had been sick and we were all waiting for her homegoing (which occurred this morning, but more about that later). So that was nagging at my brain before I left as well.
And then there is that old, ugly beast called Insecurity which I let transform me into a totally different person all weekend. I knew I was doing it—holding back, withdrawing, not reaching out—and yet I felt powerless to stop it. The Beast got the best of me, and I am not proud.
All weekend long I listened to terrible thoughts that sounded like this:
I want to be a big blog with more than 100 followers.
I want people to look at my name badge and say, “Oh, hey! I was hoping to meet you!” instead of looking at my name badge and then looking quickly away.
I want people to look at me and see a hip, middle-aged mom who has it all together. (I so do not.)
I want to write for a big-name website.
Oh my pride, it is so big.
Those thoughts (and worse) ate at me all weekend until I just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt so out of my element at Blissdom, so unlike myself, so unsure of myself, that I’m sure I didn’t come across in the most positive light.
It made me mad that I was having these thoughts. I know the truth about myself. I speak to women about these truths, and yet I could not stop the insecurity beast from attacking me. All. Weekend. Long.
Finally, on Friday, I texted my husband and said, “I just want to be home NOW!” and he texted back and said, “Why don’t you?” And just like that I switched my flight from Sunday morning to Saturday morning. I had to get away. From myself and from the beast called Insecurity.
B picked me up at the airport, and I don’t think I’ve ever loved the sight of him more. We talked long and hard throughout the drive home and a delicious lunch date about what I wanted to get out of the weekend, what I want for my blog, and what I want out of life. It was good to debrief in this way.
That night we headed over to the college to watch a basketball game. There we sat—B, Abby, Maggie, and me—in a crowded gym (Kate was there too, sitting with her friends) with our neighbors and friends from church all around us, and I finally was able to relax. For the first time in several days I felt truly happy. And I realized . . . this is where I belong.
This is where people know me best.
This is where I can be myself.
This is where I feel loved and accepted.
This is where I want to be.
Not that I won’t ever go away from home or to another conference, but if I do it will be totally different. I will go in with a different perspective and a different attitude. I’ll go in mentally prepared, unlike this time.
On Sunday morning, as I sat with the junior high girls during our Sunday School class, we sang this song and it touched me so deeply. Because I knew, as I sang these words, that I had forgotten to do this one really important thing before I went to Blissdom. I had forgotten to let God just reign in me.
Reign In Me
Over all the earth
You reign on high
Every mountain stream
Every sunset sky
But my one request
Lord my only aim
Is that you reign in me again
Lord reign in me
Reign in your power
Over all my dreams
In my darkest hour
You are the Lord of all I am
So won’t you reign in me again
Over every thought
Over every word
May my life reflect
The beauty of my Lord
You mean more to me
Than any earthly thing
So won’t you reign in me again