Not that photobooths and pretty desserts aren’t awesome, because they are. I just want to start my Lessons from Alt series with some bigger things that I learned, mostly about myself, while I was there.
I am not alone.
There are lots of extroverted introverts, and many of them are design bloggers or Pinterest makers. I used to think that there’s no way I could be part-introvert because I like to chat. Although, I’m much more into REAL talk. Small talk can be difficult (and boring), and I had to spend some time hiding behind my camera by the time the last night of parties rolled around. I’m social, but then I absolutely NEED my space. It was nice to meet other people who described themselves in the very same way.
I can approach strangers and talk to them, even Heather.
I really wish my husband could have seen me introducing myself and talking to strangers. I used to get heart racing anxious when I had to introduce myself in a group where everyone was just standing up and saying their name and department they worked in, so actually walking up to a stranger (especially one that I admired), was as likely as traveling through time in a telephone booth. I guess in a way I should be “grateful” for my bout of postpartum depression since the treatment has some social anxiety benefits that I never would have experienced otherwise.
I can hold up my end of a videotaped interview with the founder of a well-known design website.
I can even come up with a clever way on the spot to describe my design aesthetic - Todd Selby meets toddler. Hmm…should I have gone with Toddler Selby? Seriously, I would have not been able to do this a year or two ago. I would have been terrified. And I was nervous, but hey, Cottonelle is going to choose one person who participated in these interviews to fly to NYC and be interviewed by Jonathan Adler. How awesome would that be? Hey, Cottonelle! Pick me, pick me! I’ll be your best friend!
Maxwell also liked my water bottle and made it one of his Daily Finds. That made me happy.
Image by Justin Hackworth
Bloggers are people too.
Even though I’m getting much better about this stuff, there were still some bloggers/artists/other superstars that I am sort of in love with and was nervous about approaching. Later I found out that there were some people that felt that way about me. That was a weird realization, and so eye-opening at the same time. I’m not scary, and I like for people to come up and talk to me. That must mean that at least some other bloggers/artists/superstars feel that way too.
I love Jasmine Star.
In addition to being able to meet and learn from bloggers I already loved, Alt introduced me to even more of them…like Jasmine Star. The Building a Personal Brand panel that she shared with Camille Styles, Cassandra Lavelle of Coco + Kelley, and Hunter Sebresos of Concept Hunter was one of my favorites. There was so much energy, passion, and real emotion that came through during that session.
Though not a new-to-me person, I felt the same way about Anne Sage. She and the other women on the Kickstarting Your Next Project panel (Lisa Congdon, Liz Stanley of Say Yes to Hoboken, and Rena Tom) are authentic, creative, and grateful to be doing what they love. As is Ben Silbermann of Pinterest. Alt Summit is filled with truly inspirational people.
If you don’t bet on yourself, nobody else will. - Ben Silbermann, Founder of Pinterest
I really do believe in myself and feel more confident than ever that I can do this.
Yes, there are a lot of fantastic bloggers already out there. Yes, it’s difficult and labor intensive to create a career out of blogging. But guess what? Lifestyle and design bloggers seem to be a supportive, if neurotic, bunch. Hey, how do you think we get all this shit done?
While I have a million things on my Alt Summit to-do list, there were a lot of things that I learned that I’m already doing right, which was very reassuring. I met a lot of people that I feel like I can go to for help and advice when I need it. Attending Alt Summit made me feel like I was a “real” blogger and I was part of something bigger…an amazingly creative and fun blogging community.
I feel so grateful to be a part of all of this, and my hope for 2012 is that I become more involved, meet more people, and make many more steps into turning my dream life into a reality.
And, well…yes. Desserts should always be pretty, as well as taste good.
What about the rest of you Alt Summiters? What did you learn that really stuck with you? Did you surprise yourself? I’d love to hear your stories!
If you have posts on your own blogs, feel free to share the links on my Facebook page and in the comments section. I’ll also add them to my Alt Summit 2012 pinboard so we can go there and find everything Alt on those days when we need a little creativity pick-me-up. I’ll be tagging people and being more descriptive on the pins once all the Alt Summit blog posts slow down.
Let’s keep this conversation and camaraderie going until Alt 2013! I miss you guys already. xoxo