Yesterday I spent about 13 hours at AltSF. After two amazing keynotes (Mariam Naficy from Minted and Mike McCue from Flipboard), inspiring panelists, and incredible sponsors, Alt SF wrapped up the day at Pinterest’s headquarters for a Wonder Pinterland themed party where I snapped this picture. As a huge fan of the Feminist Ryan Gosling tumblr and book (which was on their coffee table in the lobby), I was delighted to find this Hey Girl reference. In case you guys had any doubts, Pinterest is awesome.
But this sign was also a huge blinking smack in the face for me. It was my perfect call to action as we ended the day.
In my large, messy handwriting I wrote 40 pages of notes over the course of the sessions yesterday. I was more than just inspired; I was conflicted and uncomfortable (in good ways) because y’all–Alt stirred things up for me.
I’m writing this without much sleep and in a bit of a haze, but what I want to say is that I have this feeling that I need to make sure I don’t let slip away. This is exactly the moment (as I write this barely an hour before I’m heading off to my day job) when I could let go of this knot in my stomach telling me to think through all these ideas and thoughts and easily step back into my daily routine that doesn’t require that type of heavy emotional/personal lifting.
So instead, I need to Focus. I’m need to ask myself some hard questions and try to work through some things. I need to go through those 40 pages of notes and read all the stars and to-dos I made for myself and make a plan.
Yesterday one of the speakers, Aaron de Simone from I Heart Luxe, was talking about Fear and Happiness, and he mentioned a theme that I’ve thought about a lot and written about before. He said, “Good things just seem to follow when you commit to face your fears.” I immediately thought about my Life Manifesto and remembered this quotation:
“Everything you want is on the other side of Fear.” -George Addair
This is what I painted last night on a giant paper rose on the amazing “painting the roses” wall that Juvenile Hall Design put up at the Pinterest party:
Facing my fears is exactly what I know I need to focus on post-alt. And more than just “facing them,” I need to sit with them a while, think through them, ask them questions, and get confortable with them.
Because I’m pretty sure that my truest hopes, dreams, and desires are somewhere trapped and hidden deep down in this knot in my stomach because sometimes facing those great aspirations is just too hard when you’re so afraid you might not be strong enough to take the risks/steps/leaps needed to reach them.
Alt, like wonderland, is a magical place where I always seem to find my way back to remembering all the things that I’m passionate about, but it’s so easy to walk away from all those things when I’m back in my life. There was a moment yesterday when I was feeling so inspired/scared/motivated that I specifically thought I can’t let all of this slip away when I leave Alt. I have to carry this with me.
This is my first step. Do you have some dreams wrapped in fears that you need to unpack too?
I hope you and Ryan Gosling have a wonderful weekend. Check back next week for more trip and Alt recaps.