Talking To Strangers: BlogHer2013 Table of One

The hall where we were going to eat the first day was HUGE. So HUGE the energy fills you up, but too many tables to scan to find a familiar face or even new friends we had met and it leaves you linking…oh my lawrdy!

“There’s a table,” Kim said “Let’s go sit there!”

“Ok,” I smile and breath in deep summoning bravery to meet another new person.

We were trying to stretch out our comfort zones so we each sat on one side of her, not able to rely only on each other. We introduced ourselves. We made small talk. She was just finishing up her lunch and waiting for an appointment. Her gaze into the empty space in front of her told me her mind was somewhere else, preparing for what was to come. Soon two lovely women with big warm, smiles and a midwestern vibe sat next to us. Their smiles invited us into the conversation. It really was impossible not to talk to them. Then as quickly as they could share where they were from blogging worked it’s magic in just the way it it does unveiling that Kim, Dawn and Cathy were from exactly the same area, minutes away from each other to be exact.

“Can I sit here?” a voice comes from my left.

I look up to see young woman with a friendly and a laid back warmth.

“Sure” “Yes!” “Sit”, come from all the ladies at the table.

She sat.

We ate.

I checked to see what Kim was doing and smiled as she as she laughed and talked with the two women she had connected with.

“So how do you like BlogHer so far,”the young woman asked.

I told her about the two sessions I had been to, the energy and all the wonderful people we had met so far.

“What about you?” I asked hoping to learn more about her.

“I’m here representing a company, Find & Save. I don’t actually have a blog but after all these amazing stories I’ve heard here, it makes me want to start one,” she finishes with a smile and a long pause.

“Blogging is one of the most amazing things I have done. It has giving me a voice I never knew I had. It allowed me to meet and get to know the most fantastic woman. It’s incredible!”

“Oh I don’t know,” she answered looking down her food.

I pause and think maybe you overdid it. My passion is thick…or maybe just maybe that isn’t a look of no, but look I don’t know.

I smile at her and softly say, “You know you can be whoever you want online (and I shared my story). You can be and talk about whatever you want.”

“I don’t know,” she says.

“Start by writing about something simple… a trip to the park and then keep writing until you find your stories, your own voice.”.

We finish our food and it is time for Kim and me to leave.

My thoughts pause for a second…I wonder?! Should I?? So I take a deep breath and smile at her again, get up from my chair and walk over to her.

Kneeling down next to where she is sitting I look up to her and say, “Email me if you have any questions at all. How to get started, how to set up things, anything. I would love to help you with any questions you have. I mean it!” I smile again.

Taking the escalator down to the buses I smile at Kim.

“I’m ready. I’m going to do it! I was talking to that woman about starting a blog. It energizes me. It reminded me…again…. how much I love creating for others, talking to and working with someone until I am able to take their vision, mold it, bring the best out of them and make it oozz and shout who they are. I love it!!” I tell Kim (she listens, smiles and nods with a familiar duh! Laverne…I already knew that. Happy you could finally join me).

From that table of one a brand new confidence was found (I know…another…I can’t help it!). With a portfolio I am proud of, experience that makes me confident in what I can create, the nudge (who am I kidding it a full on shove) of several dear friends and that single conversation I am finally going to do it! I am going to open my very own Estys shop and really make my graphic designing a business. So with another reason to hold my head a little higher and my shoulders back a little stronger I am slowly working toward the goal of having the shop up and running by the beginning of the year.

Watch out Estys here comes Heck Awesome!!!!



There is more to come….


Talking to Strangers: BlogHer 2013 Discovering a New Inner Beauty

My husband barely stopped the car as I jumped out of the it at American Airlines terminal three.  I could hardly stand to surprise her by meeting her to help her with her bags.  I really couldn’t stand waiting to hug her and see her for real…in real life…standing in front of me!  I walked through the electric doors and scanned the baggage claim for baggage claim nine.  There it was.  There she was.  Jeans, long hair and a cute top.  Was that her? Should I sneak up behind her and squeeze her, because did I say I could hardly stand the wait.  What if it wasn’t her?  Also, do I really want to freak her out, the woman is going to spend four days in a hotel room with me.  I walked toward her and just as I was deciding to or not to surprise her from behind I turned to the right and spied a striking red haired, caribbean sea blue eyed beauty… GEEEEEEEE! KIM! KIM! {Hug} {Hug} {Hug} {Hug} {Hug} {Hug} I had finally, finally after two years (or is it three…I lost count) of getting to know her, learning from her, admiring her strength and growing with her during her blog facelift journey and then texting and FaceTime friendship…my goodness I was finally meeting her!!!!

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From that moment on two woman with a love for talking without waiting for a breath were each others wing woman, cheerleaders, the uhuh in each others extroverted problem solving session.   Our days at BlogHer were part local foods and enjoying local beer, part attending inspiring, go for it, dream big, take big risks sessions and part napping (seriously after amazing days and night of parties parties, then talking until 1 AM…2 AM…talking until we can’t stay awake anymore it’s exhausting!)

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Putting the finishing touches on my eye liner I stopped to make sure my line was smooth and a reflection caught my attention. The sparkle of my favorite sparkle top I wore. I smiled.  I added the finishing touches to my eyeliner and put on my lipstick. I stepped back to take a look at myself and smiled again. I was ready for a fashion show.  I sat on my bed as Kim finished blow drying her hair.  This was our last night of BlogHer and still, even after all that we had done and learned together I had no idea the biggest lessons I would learn at BlogHer would come at the Fashion Show and the simplest words.

Decked out in our sparkle tops, our favorite pants and heels as high as we could stand for the night (trying to wear cute, trendy foot wear and stand all night… it hurts! Bad!) We sat four rows back,  giddy about our good seats and about the fashion show.  In between my spew of the random shhtuff I know (long story…I’ll explain later) about bloggers we saw, tweets, giggles,  Kim’s night at the Roxbury sideways head bobs to the music playing and one of my hundreds of  “You know Kim…I think I…”  she leaned toward me, smiled and whispered softly looking me right in the eyes, “It’s always been there. You just believe it now.”

Days of learning to hold my head high and my shoulders back…

Days of learning (forcing myself) to make eye contact with strangers and smile…

Days of taking deep breaths and having conversations (wonderful ones…yes, another story) with strangers and not puking or dying in in nerves or failure…

Days of working on owning who I was and what made me me…

Days of talking to her non-stop (shut up! I told you I talked a lot but seriously Kim did a damn good job of keeping up… that girl can talk too!!!) being embraced for all of me…

…allowed me to finally truly love me and all the beauty I have inside.

So as I adjust to real life again and my BlogHer hangover has passed I find that ! have changed.  I carry myself differently.  My shoulder go back a little more when I walk,  I make eye contact and smile at strangers and friends more then before,  instead of shying away from conversations I jump in knowing I have something to offer and I walk a little taller.

All because a friend reminded me that “it” was always there!

MEMEday Week #8

Boy do I love MEME inspiration.

Today I have more from the Prattling Pineapple and another visit from Ryan.

My sister took Francine and Olivia out to celebrate Olivia’s 7th birthday.  The texts that came to me while they were eating dinner and filling up on a brownie dolloped with vanilla ice cream were pure Prattling Pineapple… my very own 6 year old stream of conscious, non-stop talking, unfiltered narrator of life!

This Hey girl is inspired by my fantastically beautiful friend Kim over at Rubber Chicken Madness.  The girl has entered the on-line dating world (she’s amazing…and oh the stories).  In between holding my nose to prevent myself from snorting coffee I am also moved by the passion, strength and ability to stay true to herself that she possesses.

Can’t a girl find a guy?!

Sharing Their Words

I love when I smile.

I love when I am inspired.

I love when words move me… I mean make me sit up taller, energy up my test, make me say woooooooow move me.

There are some many beautiful and inspiring writers out there.  I have some favorites.  Others I find by accident.  My favorite part about reading someone else’s work is when the words fly off the page at me and move me deep down inside.  It is even better if they are the words of a friend.