a more realistic meet and greet.

Amidst my Monday, I found myself reading these words by Hayley Morgan (aka the tiny twig) that she wrote last year before the influence conference:

" . . . most likely the girl you perceive behind the blog is a little different and a little more vulnerable in real life."

I recognized a lot of my fears in that statement because I'm genuinely nervous about going to influence.

See, when I found out back in April that I probably wouldn't be able to go the conference, I was very sad. I cried and I mourned, and I found my peace knowing that at least this way I wouldn't be disappointed.

Disappointed in the conference?
Disappointed in the people I would meet?

No. Disappointed in the fact that I can never measure up to the girl I measure myself by.

I've never met the girl that I measure myself by, most likely because, actually fully for sure because that girl doesn't exist.

She can't exist.

I'm nervous that I'll offend somebody by not knowing or remembering their name.

I'm nervous that I'll share too much, too little, or too something.

I'm nervous I'll say something that will cause somebody I respect to no longer respect me.

I'm terrified about my business cards. I'm terrified because the girl in that picture is wearing bold lipstick and a bold headband, and most days I really just like drinking my coffee and not leaving a lipstick stain. I'm so scared because I'm really not as cool as the girl in my own picture.

I'm also feeling a bit wounded already, and I know I am going to come into the conference feeling really tender to the touch. I'll have just packed up my apartment the day before and when I come back from the conference I'll move the next day.

I've been ready to take down my conference meet and greet since before I even posted it. I feel like I shared this confident girl who has a put together life, where actually I'm constantly at battle with my own thoughts, and have never had to take every thought captive in the same way that I am now. I'm tender and hurt, and feel like every 8th word hurts my feelings right now. So much so that if I knew how to disable my comments I would, simply because I know that even kind words hurt sometimes.

Maybe you're feeling a little bit like me. You're scared you'll forget an important item, or that you'll say a name wrong. (P.S. My name is pronounced Nay-Deen, not Nah-Deen. P.P.S. I'll give you grace if you don't say it right. I promise.)

I want to wrap this post up with a pretty bow, with a truth like: we're going to be okay.

I know that truth, and you know that truth, so we have to cling to it. AND it's okay if we come to the conference and disappoint everybody. It really is okay. I'm planning on disappointing at least myself, so welcome to the club.

All of this to say, Haylie is right. The girl typing our blogs is more than likely a little less put together than she shares.

So I'm excited to see you at the conference (and if you're reading and not going to be at the conference, I'm excited to see you someday), and if you're feeling a bit tender and broken, we can sit together. We can laugh together, cry together, and I know that I'll more than likely do something silly. I just do that sometimes, usually if I'm feeling overwhelmed or excited - it's to differentiate for me sometimes. Or if you're feeling just super great about yourself, maybe you can pass along some wisdom to the girls like me who sometimes just feel a little bit unprepared.