As a Blogger, one of the things I look forward to the most is getting to take part in some of the various Blogger and Social Media conferences that are held each year across North America. While I haven’t ventured outside of Canada for a conference just yet, I have had the extreme pleasure of attending some pretty fantastic conferences right here in Canada, including most recently, BlissDom Canada.
Last weekend a couple of Ottawa Blogger friends, Ann and Angele, joined me on what we called a #KickAssRoadTrip (named in part for Ann’s website) driving from Ottawa to Toronto to attend this highly anticipated conference. This road trip, and 3 day conference, turned out to be everything I had hoped for – and so much more.
A weekend of fun and learning turned into something much more meaningful and profound. For me it was a weekend of “jumping off cliffs”, sometimes jumping from incredible heights, not really knowing if I would land safely or come crashing down to the ground.
What I mean by this is that I pushed myself, harder than I ever have before, to do things that don’t come easily to me. I forced myself to jump off that proverbial cliff, no matter how terrified I was, and take a chance that something great might happen.
Turns out, I’m pretty good at jumping off cliffs.
Know why? Not because of some inner greatness I found within myself that weekend, but because every time I jumped, there was an incredible community of people waiting on the ground, ready and willing to catch me.
I found out that you can do anything when you belong to a community of people who are there to catch you if you fall.
I found that community of people at BlissDom.
The weekend at BlissDom kick-started my confidence in a way I had never experienced before. It all began with that #KickAssRoadTrip, spending a total of 10 hours in a car with 2 women I had never met before in real life, then sharing an adjoining hotel room with them and 2 other women (one I barely knew, the other I had just met for the first time). By the end of the weekend I felt like I had known these ladies all my life.
It’s because of these amazing new friends, and the whole BlissDom community, that I was able to “put myself out there” and do things that would normally terrify me. Like:
Standing up in a room of over 100 people and presenting a “pitch” to Chevy Canada telling them why they should want to partner with me as their Chevy Ambassador for the next year ( I would have NEVER done that in my pre-BlissDom life!)
Wandering around in a sea of people all weekend and casually walking up and introducing myself to those I did not know
Trying all kinds of new foods I had never tried before – most of them filled with lentils (Canadian Lentils was one of the great BlissDom sponsors)
Dancing like no one was watching me. I love to dance, so I spent 2 of 3 nights “cutting the rug”. An unexpected benefit of this? Losing 5 pounds in one weekend – despite all the great food around me!
Driving my car to Toronto and shuttling friends around Mississauga during the weekend. This was the first time I had done the driving on such a long road trip, and first time I had driven into Toronto myself. This is also something I would never have done just a few short years ago.
I’m always worried about my health problems and never know how they will affect me while away from home. I let go of this fear and told myself that, I could always go back to my room or, worst case scenario, go home. Luckily, I didn’t have to do either.
BlissDom Canada. One weekend, 4 great roommates, many brand new friends, big hugs from long-time friends, conversations with fabulous people representing great brands, and learning…so much learning!
I could tell you all about what I learned that weekend that will (hopefully) make me a better Blogger.
I could share with you all the fun things we did like…
The wonderful friendships we made
The amazing food we ate
The fabulous personalities we met
The hilarious games we played
The amazing swag we received
The FUN parties we had
The crazy costumes we wore
The incredible sponsors we met
All of these things ARE amazing…BUT… I’d rather you take away this message:
Follow your Bliss no matter what that may be. For me it’s blogging, for you it’s whatever you have a passion for. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Take chances, seek out new experiences, surround yourself with positive people and don’t be afraid to jump off that proverbial cliff. You never know where your life will take you when you step outside your comfort zone.
As the BlissDom Canada 2014 tag line says…
Be BOLD. Be PROUD. Be YOU!
Want to see more of what BlissDom 2014 had to offer? Check out this amazing (and huge!) collection of BlissDom 2014 photos taken by the lovely Anna Epp (official BlissDom Canada photographer) and her assistant Krista Gray-Donald. You may just recognize a face or two!