On Beignets and Voodoo and Magic

I kind of feel like I’ve been eviscerated, only in a really good way. If there could possibly be a good way to be eviscerated. Like I’ve heard they do when they do abdominal surgery, such as a c-section, where they go in and take out the various parts that need to be removed like the placenta and the human being and then they sew everything up that needs to be sewed and then they chuck it all back in helter-skelter and staple you up and let it all sort itself out.

And that’s kind of how I feel after the Mom 2.0 Summit, except without the stitches and various mood-altering drugs.

Yes, I know I’m not making any sense. Surprise!

Maybe it’s what New Orleans does to you. Or maybe it’s what Mom 2.0 Summit does to you. Maybe the two put together brew up a whole new and strange kind of oxygen and wisdom. Love and voodoo and music and words and witchcraft. Everything I thought I believed about myself, about my craft, about everyone else in this strange and wonderful business has been pulled out, shaken thoroughly, fluffed up, given a bear hug and a lusty smack on the cheek and then shoved back inside in order to be shuttled on to a plane and sent home to figure it all out.

It was a place where words burst through inner boundaries, giving ideas and alternatives and blasting goals and ambitions and creativity in to the forefront. Where you realize that everyone here is someone Just Like You, someone with diaper pails and mortgages and nutty relatives and insecurities and naysayers and inner critics that look like John Updike.

I wanted to be one of those people who started up every conversation, who knew the clever and witty and pithy things to say, who could walk up to some awesome person and say, Hi! You’re awesome! I’m awesome too! Let’s get drunk and be awesome together! But sometimes, I had no hope. There was so much awesome, and sometimes in the presence of too much awesome I get overwhelmed in a weird way. My brains seem to dribble out the bottom of my head and I can only stammer banalities and let out barking horse laughs. I fully realize that I am a ridiculous human being; in a room with hundreds of people who I know very well felt the same way I did, I still couldn’t overcome it and spent too much time by myself or hiding behind my camera. It was only when I found someone I already loved, who I knew already loved me, that I was able to really relax and let it all flow. But luckily, there were lots of people like this.

And I don’t worry, because next time, the people I met this time will be those people, and then I can chill even more.

It’s not often that I get the chance to submerge myself in to a room full of amazing and be in a place where I can feel that despite whatever my hangups and failings, these people get me, at least a part of me, because they’re just like me too. They throw themselves in to a blog post and live tweet a jazz tour and tell a story of a time when you Epically Failed to a table full of people and laugh about it.  So for those who put this weekend of amazing together, and for those who were there, and for those who shared a little piece of themselves and left it behind on Bourbon street or Canal street or anywhere else: Thank you.

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