Monday, October 1, 2012

Women Power

Hands down. Attending the Pennsylvania Conference for Women will probably be the best decision I made all week. And it's only Monday! Now that I am finally at my laptop, which I brought along with me of course, I can express what I've always understood to be true. Surrounding myself with aspirational, positive women is like a drug. Considering that I had to wake up at 5:30 this morning and still almost missed my bus, I was just hoping to help out and get free access to the conference. Well, thanks to my little sister, I did not miss my the Megabus and I have already interacted with women who have given me advice, contacts and the confidence to push forward.

Case in point, Uneeka Jay (@powermommy). Allow me to set the scene. It's after 12:30 p.m. and I'm finishing up my boxed lunch. Caesar salad wrap, string cheese, chocolate chunk cookie and an apple. She casually sits down, no big deal. Fast forward fifteen minutes and I have someone who is encouraging me to attend the Blogalicous conference next year, informing that I need to buy my domain name and listing a bunch of contacts in the DC area. I kept grinning and saw the wheels spinning ever so quickly in my head.  Now that I know there is a supportive network of bloggers, specifically women of color within reach, there's no way I am not going to take a leap forward.

I also finally got a chance to meet with Amy Blankenbiller, who is the volunteer coordinator for this conference as well as two others, Texas and Massachusetts. She has such a great energy and tends to share a novel per every question you ask. I like learning by listening, so I was all ears! She has quite the story and actually lived in the DC area for a number of years. Indeed, it is a small world.

1.5 tons of Hershey chocolates
that conference volunteers packed

Coincidentally enough, Penelope Trunk had a new blog post that resonated with me today. Two particular comments were relevant to my current transition - picking a lifestyle versus working toward a job title and not overcommitting. I've never been one for titles and whatnot. Personally, I like being in a position of influence. With or without a title, human beings are influenced by their peers. In my last job, I made it a point to be kind in order to influence my working relationships in a healthy, positive way. Being nice goes a long way. Essentially, understanding my wants and needs in my professional life will parlay into a lifestyle that is in sync with how I work and value my time. Simple, right? Right...

I have a date with FedEx Kinko's in a minute. If all goes well, I will be the owner of a set of  temporary business cards for tomorrow's conference. Later, I'm heading outside the city to have a home-cooked meal courtesy of my friend who is housing me. Thanks Marissa!

Speaking of dinner, last night at the Oceanaire was great. I smiled and laughed incessantly to the point that my facial muscles were paining me. I had a good time and the salmon was delish. Thanks Don and Len!

Sometimes I forget how gracious my network of friends, colleagues, etc are to me. Thank you cards are most certainly in the works. 

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