I arrived in Atlanta on Saturday all hyped up on coffee and adrenaline. I didn't even need any alcohol on my flight, which is a pretty surprising thing right there, given my feelings about flying. ;-) I met up with my lovely roommate Sarah, and we dropped our stuff at the hotel before making a beeline for the Georgia International Convention Center, and the SQPN booth set up in the Exhibit Hall as part of the Eucharistic Congress taking place there this weekend as well:
|That would be Fr. Cory Sticha (@FrCorySticha), Fr. Darryl Millette (@frdarryl), and Sarah (@mssarahkp).|
From that point on, I took stock of my personality: reserved, quiet, can be kind of a dud. What I wanted from this weekend was: fun! frivolity! fantastic! So I made the decision to really push myself to be as social as possible. I wanted to meet people, and I wanted to enjoy their company. This means that I would have to TALK to them. That doesn't necessarily come naturally to me, so my social switch had to be set to: "MEGAWATT!" Annndddddd...I think it worked. :)
I met a LOT of people. Wonderful, funny, kind people. Saturday before dinner I hung out in the hotel bar and introduced myself to people. I forced them to take yet more choppy photos with me:
|Dee Fox from "Catholic Vitamins!" And Stephanie Zimmer (@angelsteph), and Marika (@oneeyedsmiley)|
|Over drinks, yay! with Allison Gingras (@reconciledtoyou)|
*gulp!* "You are crying?! NOW I AM CRYING! We are crying together!! Is this making you feel any better, I can't imagine that it would?! How do we stop now??"
So that happened. Twice. But it was a lovely night and I talked to a TON of great people. I was so tired by the end of the night (early flight + Megawatt Social Tiffany = exhaustion) I could hardly keep my eyes open. And then I didn't even sleep all that well, because I am freakish and never sleep well when I'm away from home. And hello, MASS AT 8 AM! How nice to see you. ;-) So I was tired the next day too.
However, it was so worth it. Mass, conference sessions, more socializing and networking. I taught Stephanie how to knit socks during lunch, because isn't that what everyone aspires to do, knit during conferences? If you don't, then you don't know what you're missing. ;-)
I learned some things about recording audio, and about writing, and about team building. Greg Willits made me cry again, and so did Lisa Hendey, and Fr. Roderick's video keynote speech.
|Two of the guilty tear-inducing parties featured in this hilarious photo|
Sunday evening I went to dinner with a bunch of my new friends. And then had drinks in the hotel bar with some others, one of whom is an absolute dear friend, Capt. Jeff:
...and he is also one of my *very* favorite SQPNer's, but SHHHH! Don't tell him. ;-)
By the end of the night, I was absolutely exhausted, but at the same time couldn't have been more content. Good things are coming from this, I just know it. And the friendships that were cultivated just make me smile every time I think back on our time together.
Whenever I come back from an event like this, I feel blue. I was so glad to get home to my family, but I miss the fellowship with my friends, and I don't know when I'll see them in person again. But I hold on to the warm feelings, and the prayers, and all of the support that I'll continue to get from them online, deep in my heart.
And so, this morning, I recorded this video. To say thank you. If you were there with me at the CNMC, I'm speaking directly to you. If you weren't, but read this blog, I'm speaking to you too. We are all a community in the Body of Christ, and you all matter to me. So much. I'm going to warn you that I cry in this video. Quite a bit. :0 So if emotional things like that bother you, skip this one. But I hope you'll watch it. Because we're all in this journey of life together, good times and bad, joy and sorrow. There's no sorrow coming out of this weekend, only joy, but sometimes joy causes tears too.
So. What did you think? Got any new ideas regarding ministry and evangelization, collaboration and creativity? I hope you'll write to me. *hug*
I loved this, and I loved your honesty and vulnerability.ReplyDelete
I especially LOVED extrovert Tiffany. Side note: you can be an introvert and still enjoy engagement with others at the MACRO level you experienced (I just saw a charming and open Tiffany). Give yourself a space to recharge alone when you delve out into conference style interaction, and you'll do great. (I;m also an introvert. I can be crazy loud, but then need to recharge)
See you in a couple of weeks! I'll be happy to be one of your +1s
Maria, thank you, this made my day. :) And yes, drinks in 2 weeks, girl!!Delete
Tiffany, what an awesome post and especially the video. It was so great meeting you. I would never have pegged you as an introvert. I myself am a mega introvert, and it's probably going to take a couple of days, at least, to recover. I got a head start by having seven hours in a car by myself, lol. But in that 7 hours, one thing I thought about was how can we continue that sense of community that happens at the CNMC. at first I thought about regional Meetups. but then I thought about using social media. Perhaps something like a monthly Google hangout similar to the mastermind sessions. I don't know I just got home so none of this is thought out but I thought I'd post it here. Anyway, I have added your blog to my feedly and I'll see you in the twitterverseReplyDelete
Marika! So happy to have you here! Regional meetups, Google Hangouts, something, right?! I really want us to keep up that feeling of community. So wonderful.Delete
My dear Tiffany,ReplyDelete
You are a MESS. And after watching your video, I am, too.
Nothing affirms more significantly the importance of what SQPN is and does than the kind of reaction that you had. I, too, was touched by the power of the community and personalities of this organization some 10 years ago. I felt that I must be involved in some way with it. I am so truly blessed to be a part of it.
I am so excited about our future in Catholic digital media. I am positive that people like you will be the face of our future. I look forward to seeing the fruits to come.
Jeff, you are reading and now you know my secret. ;-) Thank you so much. I derive so much value from the SQPN community, and the hopefulness of what is to come warms my heart. I can't wait to see what the future holds!Delete
I can't watch your video at work, because I'm already a blubbery mess that I couldn't go and MEET YOU IN PERSON. So I'll have to wait until this weekend to cry with you. I love your blog and personal posts; Lisa was supposed to tell you that you had me with the post about pumping at the office, because I was doing the same thing (in a library also!) and it was instant camaraderie, solidarity as Catholic working mamas. I'd love to say See you next time, but we never know... I'm still in numb disbelief that I couldn't attend this year. So I'll crawl back into my own overworked soul-sucking job and cry about it at home.ReplyDelete
This is a very touching and beautiful post, as I commented on Twitter. I felt the same way that you did. I was more outgoing than usual and it felt good! It was a great experience for me and it was great to reflect about how different the experience this time was to 5-6 years ago with previous CNMCs. My life is completely different now due to how much I have healed from my abuse since back then. It's a beautiful reminder that I can now say that I embrace life now instead of hiding from it. Thank you for writing this and showing your true emotions. You are blessing to the SQPN community!ReplyDelete
SHELLY!!!! Oh I know, dear one!! I am *so bummed* that we couldn't meet up in person. And yes, we don't know what the future holds, and I think that's part of my weepy state this week. :) I absolutely LONG to see my friends again, and I just don't know when that'll happen. But we live in joyful hope, and so that is what I am determined to do! We WILL meet up in person in the future. Hug!ReplyDelete
Stephanie, it was SUCH a JOY to meet you and bond with you this weekend. :) You are one of the people that I feel closest to coming out of last weekend, and I feel so excited about the deepening of that friendship that I am certain is to come. I was already thinking this morning, that when you get to the heel flap of your sock, maybe I'll create some videos for you to talk you through things each step of the way. ;-)And that's what these conferences are all about to me - we have the joyful meeting in person (that is *absolutely* incomparable) to sustain our hearts and spirits throughout our sometimes challenging journey of life, but in the between times, we can lift each other up in other ways. And you are in my heart and mind just the same as the local friends that I get to see and have dinner with monthly. So, so wonderful. Until we meet again! Let me know when you get to that heel flap. ;-)ReplyDelete
It'll be a long while since I'm only a few inches in :)ReplyDelete
You are doing AMAZING! You are a natural, and I feel very proud to call you my sock pupil. :0ReplyDelete
Tiffany, thank you so much for your beautiful post and video. It was wonderful to see you again. I've been having total CNMC withdrawal these past couple of days!!ReplyDelete
(Do let me know if you ever get completely lost and find yourself in Saskatoon!)
I WANT TO SQUEEZE THE STUFFING Out of you... girl you are so sweet, sincere, and the epitome of the WARMTH you felt received from the conference. So grateful to God for introducing us (and yes Cristina T. gets a shout out for that too!). I can't wait to see what God has planned - for you, and me, and us, and the entire Catholic Social Media Evangelizing bunch of Jesus Freak wunderpeeps!!! AND now... to blow my nose, where'd I put those tissues!!! ~ AllisonReplyDelete
AWWWWWW! Thank you so much, Allison! I was such an absolute joy to be with you this weekend. I cannot WAIT until we can get together again! I really pray that God makes this happen. Can you *imagine* a gathering that included you, me, AND Cristina?! EPIC!ReplyDelete
I am excited too. I really think fantastic things are in store!
Fr. Darryl, LOVED seeing you again! And yes, post-CNMC blues, CNMC withdrawal...sigh. It is a very real phenomena. :) My daughter watched the video of your reunion with Chloe at least 3 times this morning, and indeed, if we are ever remotely near Saskatoon, you will be getting a phone call! :)ReplyDelete
Tom just walked by and wanted to know what I was listening to. I told him "Tiffany... talking about her weekend, and she's crying!" Now Tom thinks he might need to be more serious with you, rather than teasing (which is his specialty by the way). I can't wait until he can meet you too. HUGS!ReplyDelete
Tell Deacon Tom that he needs to stay exactly the same, lol! I love his teasing! I absolutely cannot wait to see both of you!ReplyDelete
Hey Tiffany! It was awesome meeting you and so many other wonderful folks. I really felt at home among "my people" last weekend. It amused me at how many of us seemed like introverts coming out of our shells. (I vacillate between intro- and extro-, depends on the day and time). I look forward to many more fabulous encounters in the future. :-)ReplyDelete
Jennifer, oh me too, me too! I felt so at home amongst everyone. I too look forward to our future together, because I *know* that we will meet again!Delete
Thank you Tiffany for the shoutout! I hope we get to meet IRL eventually!ReplyDelete
I loved your post about the CNMC. Whenever I talk about these internet people and things to people in real life they don't get it and think it's strange but you get it! But I like what someone said that Maria said in her talk (I read it on twitter or heard it in a podcast recap) that all the people you talk to on the other side of their screen are REAL PEOPLE with souls and lives and problems..just because we aren't physically together doesn't mean we don't have real friendships, and aren't touching souls.
One day I hope to get to a CNMC IRL..we'll see.
Beth Anne! So nice to see you. :) Yes, I completely agree. The fact that we don't see each other face-to-face doesn't mean that our friendship isn't "real." The relationships are very, very real. I so hope that we meet in IRL. I've been saying this a lot lately to people, but that's because I have true hope that it will be so.ReplyDelete