The speakers of Camp Mighty did not fail to please. Did every single topic apply to my direct interests? Of course not. I don’t happen to be a design or style blogger, nor do I have any ankle-biters running around in canine or homosapien forms. I haven’t been published and the only place I’m crafty is in the bedroom. Wait…that doesn’t sound right. No hot glue around the ladybits allowed.
But if you listened with an open heart, each presenter had a message that applied. Here are a few of my ah-ha moments.
Maggie Mason, your talk resonated with me and made me tweet that I fell a little bit in love with you. Thank you for hitting the “favorite” icon and not the “block” icon. In speaking about reaching our life list goals, Maggie said, “It’s about who you love, and who loves you.” My notes say to ignore the judge-y voices of what “they” think – those that Martha Beck coins “the generalized other”. “They” are a small group of super-crappy people. “They” are usually not who you see frequently or who you feel like your best around. Replace those people with those who are your cheerleading voices! Be around those who will water the seeds you plant. Not dig em up and eat em.
Margaret Stewart, thank you for reminding us that as “creators” of anything, we have to find and defend our time to MAKE. No excuses. It’s important.
Jordan of Oh Happy Day, I loved your sassy bangs and wish I could rock them as well as you. I loved that Jordan figured out what she wanted, wrote it down and slapped that list right up there on her fridge. Loud and proud, baby. Go DO IT. And while you’re at it, set up automatic withdrawals. Apparently I’ll thank myself later.
Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, IRL was every bit as goddamn hilarious as her writing. More so, I think… because she is fabulously real and genuine. Like her tweet about being nervous prior to speaking:
God, I love her. And guess what? When Maggie announced it was time for crowd Q&A, I thought of a question to ask Jenny. I started sweating immediately. And then my hand went up of its own accord. ohmygodwhatamIdoing!?!? Maggie is looking at me. OhSHIT, Maggie is pointing at me!?! FUCK! Aaaggh, don’t stutter, talk slowly and clearly, Peach!!!
And then I asked my question. In front of 200 people, I asked The Bloggess what her advice would be on how to stop letting the fear of judgment dictate my decisions. When I finished talking, I could tell my voice had gone a little trembly and my heart felt all thumpy like it does at the end of a sweaty yoga session… but I did it. And then I had to consciously force myself to pay attention to her answer instead of putting my head between my legs to kill the dizzy. I breathed in and out. And I listened. Her answers, by the way, were brilliant.
- Always do something stupid. Stupid is always fun.
- If no one is judging you, you’re probably not doing anything. If you’re making something no one hates, no one will love it.
- Believe in yourself. As Neil Gaiman says on overcoming paralyzing fear: “Pretend you’re good at it.”
- You cannot say ‘vagina’ on CNN. But you can say ‘ladygarden’.*
*That wasn’t about my question. But it was pretty fucking funny.
All of the speakers showed that they too, were human, and had struggled with their dreams. Ben Silbermann, founder of Pinterest, revealed that he quit his job to dedicate himself to building this site…and then the economy promptly hit the shitter. But he didn’t give up. He refused to take doubts as fact. Instead, he chose to make one thing, really well. And he told us “don’t do it alone. We’re all in this together.”
And Nathan Bransford, ohhhh, did I take copious, copious notes. You gave a non-writing writer so much hope (and abject fear), but you also spoke the hard truth. Thank you for not sugar-coating. I’m ready to take your advice. Starting with #1.
And this? This was just the speakers portion of my weekend. There’s still so much more to tell you about. Like rayguns and a devilish concoction called a Tangtini. And pool swans. And hot tubs. And gifts. And pictures… there must be more pictures. Soon, I promise.