The Becoming Conference has come and gone.
It feels like I've been anticipating it for years and now thats it's over, I'm surprised at how much brain space I have again.
I have a new respect for professional speakers and also pastors that preach more than 2 sermons back to back. It's seriously hard word.
Overall, the conference was really fun. A lot of that had to do with my two awesome roommates, Stu (my sis lauren, her nickname is stu and. . .well. . .I think it's time I start referring to her as Stu here on my blog since it's what I call her in real life. Maybe I'll post about why sometime soon but it's really not an interesting story) and my friend Carrie (aka Care-Bear, Merry-Carrie, Carrie-Gray-yace, Mary-Phon, Beatrice, or just Bea)
**sounds like I need to write a post about nicknames, huh?**
Anyway, Stu and Care-Bear were with me and they were the perfect companions. We had a great time together the whole weekend and they helped me out when Saturday morning struck.
Friday night was a brief fashion show and the opening keynote. Since Stu, Carrie and I did not have time to eat, we left the keynote early and drove in to Asheville to grab dinner.
Hello world of hippies!
There must of been some kind of festival going on because there were people e-v-e-r-ywhere. Or maybe that's just a regular friday night in Asheville. Who knows. We wanted to try a restaurant that was recommended to us from a blog reader of From My Grey Desk, but the line was out the door. We ended up at Buffalo Wild Wings and it was delish.
We returned to Ridgecrest and set up my room. I practiced a bit with my mic, and my sister learned of her new found love of speaking into a microphone. Carrie practically busted up my wardrobe as we were assembling it so I learned to never assemble furniture with her again! :)
Then it was time to rest. Finally.
Saturday morning I got up early and headed out for breakfast. I met one of the conference founders in my room to hook up my computer to the projector system, and then I had about 2 hours to prepare and run through my talk before my session began.
Or so I thought.
Turns out, the online schedule I received days before the conference and the actual printed schedule handed out the night before were different. It was a simple typo that could happen to anyone (and actually really sounds like something I would do unknowingly), but it threw me into a panic.
I was not ready to speak in 20 minutes. Oh.My.Gosh.
So I called Stu and Carrie, they had slept in a bit and gone for breakfast, and told them that I was actually speaking during the first session which began in 15 minutes. They were in the middle of getting ready, so I told them to just do their thing and come to my room before the second session so we could all grab lunch.
I had wanted them there during my first session to make sure atleast two people were laughing at my jokes. But now I had to rely on my audience and hope that I was actually funny. Turns out, the audience laughed --either with me or at my, but regardless. . .they laughed! :)
I'm literally holding back tears at this point thinking,"I AM NOT READY!!!!!". Panic ensues and women start walking into my room.
I escape to the bathroom with a plastered smile on my face, enter the stall and give myself a pep talk.
"Kate. You are speaking now. Get it together. You will be fine. Oh and stop looking like you want to cry."
I prayed for peace and for my face to look calm and composed even though I was shaking and sweating.
I walked back into my room and began my talk.
By the grace of God alone, I got through it (although I was so comfortable I got a little chatty and didn't quite finish up my entire talk) and had a lot of fun.
The women in that first session were so warm and happy, they put me at ease immediately. And right before I started, the sweetest woman came up to me and said she was excited to be there and was looking forward to my session. And it was exactly what I needed to hear. I seriously wanted to hug her and tell her thank you so much, but I knew I would cry so I choose her for the live hair tutorial instead.
After that first session was over I was ready for a break and to regain my composure. Except women started walking in for the second session--as per the agenda online.
So I'm realizing, and trying to be subtle since women were coming in and sitting down, that I'm also speaking during the second session.
And the third and fourth. whew. That's a lot.
In a way that released some stress since I now knew what the plan was during the rest of the day, and I was able to get through each talk successfully!
At the end of the conference, I was so impressed by how many lovely and kind women were there, and so encouraged (SO encouraged) by their enthusiasm during my session. I was exhausted, but so fulfilled.
On the ride home, I could feel tiredness wash over me for the first time all day, and was thankful that God sustained me to get through, and enjoy, each and every session.
So if you came to the conference, and came to one of my sessions, thank you. I loved it and hope you did too.
This is how I spent yesterday:
Resting and reflecting on what a great time I had at the Becoming Conference.
*if you came and have any photos I would love to see them. Tweet them at me or tag my in them : K8_smallthings