This past weekend I drove the 5+ hour drive to Atlanta with just me, myself and the podcast Invisibila (thanks for the recommendation, Katie!). I attended the Haven Conference with almost 400 other DIY, Home decor bloggers from the U.S and Canada. It was overwhelming in a lot of ways– both good and bad ways. Because I always like to be honest, I’ll share a few things with you here.
I’ll start with a few of the negative emotions I felt. I consider myself an extrovert by a landslide but the older I get I am realizing just how introverted I can be within huge crowds. My soul craves deep connection so the constant small talk was exhausting. I would connect with one person only to not see them again or to feel like I was just a networking tool for them. The truth is I probably was to a huge majority there because it’s impossible to connect with 400 people in three days. I get it.
Another thing I struggled with was my finding my voice in the sea of others. And fighting the temptation to compare myself with everyone else. Compare their blogging journey to mine. Their skills to mine. Their successes to mine. That, friends, is draining.
But there was also a ton of positive stuff (like the donut wall!!). All of the creativity was just amazing and had me feeling all the feels and wanting to paint all the things. Speaking with sponsors was also so much fun! There were some really wonderful vendors there and it was super exciting to talk about potential future projects. I am really happy to say that I will soon be partnering with The Crown Bolt Division of Home Depot. More on that to come.
My roomies were built in friends for me in the midst of a sea of strangers. I am so thankful for them! They took me under their wing and didn’t judge me when I went to bed early every night (#pregoproblems). I also had the privilege to meet Amy Howard and her stud assistant Alex. What women of grace! Taking her class was by far the highlight of my entire weekend. She is such a woman of God and if it’s wasn’t for her class I think I would have come home from the conference to throw up my white flag. She was/is so inspiring and gave me the motivation to keep sharing and flexing my creative muscles.
I also got to take a watercolor class with Lucy and it was so wonderful. I am terrible but I still had the best time. She is uber talented and makes watercolor look so effortless. I really enjoyed meeting her and taking her class. (I have some of her pillows for fall and Christmas and I am SO PUMPED to be putting them out soon)
I am proud of myself for stepping out and showing up. It wasn’t always easy but character building never is.
Here’s what I took away most from this weekend: I don’t know what the future holds for MTR but I am leaning into the unknown and just trusting that my community here will build in it’s own time and more importantly the connections will be deep and restoration will take place. That’s what I desire more than anything.