I turned off my alarm this morning for the first time in months, at least for the first time when I hadn't prepared a post the night before.
I heard the little chirping crickets sound, and my only thought was No. I swiped the screen and fell immediately back asleep.
The tiredness is unsurprising, but you would think that after a weekend of talking blogging and writing and the power of online media, I'd be leaping out of bed to share my voice with the world.
The BlogHer Conference was deeply inspiring, and the energy in every room was powerful enough to need its own registration. I told my therapist that being in the audience, listening to the keynote speakers and the Voices of the Year readers and videos and open mic participants, felt like a cross between the most loving church and the U.S. Women's World Cup game. We were there to cheer. We were there to be moved. We were hungry for it.
I had tears in my eyes more moments than I can count. A couple times they spilled over. Once, when someone's words were too true and too beautiful and too painful, I had to head to a bathroom. As I stood with my back against the stall, silently sobbing, I heard the door open and the sound of a woman choking back tears. I opened the latch and peeked out. I didn't know her, but our red-rimmed eyes met and we hugged each other and held on while we wiped our wet faces.
In her interview up on the BlogHer stage, Ava DuVernay, the director of Selma, spoke of her evenings hanging out with fancy people (aka Oprah, etc) as going to Disneyland. It's amazing and magical, but when you come home, she said, there's a big pile of laundry and you still have to get up and go to work the next day.
I spent a weekend in community with the most diverse, empathic, and empowering group of women I've experienced. It woke a craving. Or at least helped me put a name to it.
And I came home to a life that is lovely in so many ways but not quite Disneyland.
I want to keep it alive, but I don't quite know what that looks like amid the work days and the dog walks and the laundry. I know I can't wait until next year. I'm hungry now.
I'm hungry for the person I am when I'm open to all that community and connection, when my heart is full and ready to give.
I hope I brought that girl home.
p.s. A very different experience from three years ago for me.