October 3, 2013

Late. Again.

There’s a reason this blog is called The Late Arrival.

A few weeks back, my daughter and I went to church. We were a few minutes, well…late. I felt weird stares; and indignantly, hurriedly, I plopped down anyway. Five minutes later, the pastor asked the congregation to rise for the prayer and dismissal.

See what I mean?

One late night, the call for writing submissions for the Type-A Parenting Conference’s We Still Blog Awards appeared on my Facebook feed. I clicked the link, read the prestigious bios of the people judging the pieces and figured Yeah right, like this’ll happen. Meh…what have I got to lose. At least I can say I tried. I pressed “Submit” and forgot about it.

Until nearly a month later on another late night. An email congratulated me on being one of ten finalists selected.

Oh no. Really? This is all kinds of wrong. This can’t be right. Could it? It was.

Then later I perused the blogs of the other finalists…and FREAKED. Their websites were beautiful, clean and professional. They were professionals – writers and published authors -- for crying out loud! They are who I want to be when and if I grow up someday.

They are: 
Kristin Shaw of Two Cannoli
Nichole E. of Butterscotch Sundae
Cindy Reed of The Reedster Speaks
Christina McMenemy of A Mommy Story
Trey Burley of Daddy Mojo
Miranda Wicker of Finding Walden
Julia Roberts of Kidneys and Eyes
Tara Pohlkotte of The Pohlkotte Press
Lisa Allen of Back to Allen

Rather than chance Jamie and Georgia not handling things on their own (because of course everything will fall apart without me), I went to the conference for the day.
Just one day.
The last day.
As in the very last day of the conference.
As in my flight landed within hours of the final keynote.

Late.

When you’re perpetually late – especially in group settings -- you miss a lot of things. In this case it was the rich menu of presentations, seminars, speakers and even parties. I missed those things and wish I could turn the clock back so I could have arrived for the entire conference and applied new-found knowledge to this seedling of a blog.

Time-challenged people also miss things at gatherings like developing friendships, camaraderie, exchanged glances that cause spontaneous giggles, secret-telling and brain-sharing.

Listen, I’m a natural introvert, so I never miss missing this people/bonding stuff; I mean I’m not looking to make new friends.

But something about this conference and the whole vibe was different; and from my tardy perspective, the difference was the people -- including the finalists who had once intimidated me so.

We Still Blog Award Finalists

There was a feeling of openness, acceptance and support -- not just of me -- but also of my words. It was familiar...like I had been there, known these people before.

So much so that this introvert even caught the conference close-out party...and even danced.
Post-Party Dancing Toes







I ended up walking away with the very things I was missing but never knew I was missing. At Type-A, they call it “finding your tribe” and I think I found my tribe...

...at least some of them. There are more out there and I know it, and I’m going to find them at next year’s conference which I’ll be attending all three days, instead of as

The Late Arrival.


10 comments:

  1. yay!! so proud of you. and let me just tell you - - I so.get.you. I don't like new big groups of people like, well ever. then, I've been trying big groups of writer people and I am shocked to realize that I find myself home. wish I could have been on that dance floor with you... you know what that means? we need to get our introverted selves together and do one of these conferences together!

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    1. YES!! YES AND YES!

      ...and hon, I'm just so proud to say that I know you (remember ala LTYM in my whispery voice "I know her") Truth.

      We'd be such good introverts together, so yeah: let's do this next year! I'm all in!

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  2. You may have arrived late, but your post was right on time. It's comforting to know that there's someone else out there who gets how isolating grief is. Thank you for sharing your story and your heart with us.

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    1. Thank YOU, Miranda. Cliche' as it sounds, it was really humbling and my honor to have that opportunity. Glad those words struck a chord.

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  3. You were meant to be there, my new friend. And I was meant to sit right behind you so I could meet you when it ended. So there. Next year, you go to all of it. From start to finish. You never feel pressured at Type-A. Just pressured to attend. ;) I kid, honest. But you deserve to have more time there. So more people can know you and you them. Congrats on placing as a finalist. Well deserved. And I am so glad you were there to read your words. They were beautiful.

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    1. Funny how we did end being seated so near, wasn't it? Like funny in a good way...it was seriously like I knew you. Believe me, I don't go around telling random strangers to "Follow Me!"
      Anxious for next year, because I will TOTALLY be there for the whole thing.
      Thanks Andrea, so good to have met you.

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  4. Congratulations, this recognition was much deserved! (And, admittedly, I'm glad to have found a kindred late person. I TRY TO FIGHT IT. But it beats me down and calls me names every time).

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    1. Thanks, Arnebya. Totally took me by surprise. Really and truly.
      I threw in the towel long ago fighting the late thing. Just let it go ahead and name-call...as you saunter in FASHIONABLY late.

      ...at least that's what I keep telling myself. ;)

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  5. Just saw this months later. So lovely. And my log like like my fifth grader made it, so...

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    1. ...which is precisely why I heart you, Cindy.

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