I’m flying on a plane. Staying in a hotel room with people I’ve never met. Taking shuttles and doing the airport parking thing. Going to a conference. Participating in Fitbloggin 11.
Without anybody there to hold my hand.
How far I’ve come!
When I attended SheSpeaks a few years back, I almost had a panic attack every hour on the hour just thinking about it. I stressed over what to wear, where to go, and even how to act (cause I get nervous being myself in new groups of people).
But this time?
It feels totally different.
I wasn’t invited to come because of who I might be or who I would become. I was invited to come because of who I am RIGHT NOW. This blonde haired, shrinking, stressed out, hot mess of a girl. THAT’S THE CHARLIE people want to meet. And that’s exactly who they will get. Because I don’t think I have the energy left to put on pretenses and be somebody else.
I DON’T WANT TO BE ANYBODY ELSE.
I kinda like me.
I like who I am.
I like that I laugh a lot and it makes me snort. I like that sometimes I forget words and my brain grasps at straws for a second, which makes me look like I’m really thoughtful instead of forgetful. I like that everything people say reminds me of a song, and there’s a pretty good chance I will bust out a verse. I like that I always slip and almost fall, at least once a day (if I don’t actually fall). I like that I sweat constantly because my metabolism is burning so hot.
And it’s not been easy to learn to like me. But somehow, through this silly little blog, I’ve learned how to do it. I’ve taught myself that being Charlie isn’t such a bad thing after all.
If you are going to meet me in person this weekend at Fitbloggin, there are a couple caveats you should be aware of. I’ll run you down the list.
1. I will most likely do something embarrassing to myself and potentially others around me. If you are in the danger zone, you can either run for cover, or stick around and enjoy the show. It’s all part of my “charm.”
2. I will say pretty much anything. Nothing that falls out of my mouth shocks me, but it might shock you.
3. I WILL LAUGH AT ANYTHING I SEE OR HEAR.
4. I will probably smell like a man for the weekend, because girl deodorants don’t work on me, so I’m snagging my hubby’s speed stick for men. This is for your protection. YOU’RE WELCOME!
5. I will hug you without batting an eye... BUT I have a personal space issue. Hug me tight, and when it’s over, make sure there is room for an entire person to fit between us, and stay in your dance space while I stay in mine.
6. I have some hearing loss, so I read lips to help me know what you are saying. This is especially important in large groups of people. If I can’t see your mouth, I will probably ask you to play repeater until I figure out what in the Sam Hill you are saying. If you call my name from across the room, there’s a good chance I won’t hear it. I’m not ignoring you. Feel free to come up and tap me on the shoulder to get my attention.
7. Speaking of attention… I get distracted easily. I am famous for starting sentences and NEVER FINISHING THEM. Again, this is all part of my charm, so enjoy it. (Look, a squirrel!)
8. I will go through various stages of dressed like a bum to dressed to the nines. I have many different looks. From shabby homeless to runway ready. And if I have a booger hanging or something in my teeth, you can tell me. I’d rather know than walk around all day looking like a dork.
9. If I get a text from my husband or kids, all attention will shift to that momentarily. They are my first priority, even if I’m gone. Nothing personal, but I’m not married to you and didn’t give birth to you either. If I did, then I must have been on some SERIOUS medications, cause I don’t remember it.
10. I LOVE making new friends! But there are lots of you to meet, and I’m HORRIFIC with remembering names. Please have your nametag on! Also, I don’t want to miss meeting anybody, so I plan to circulate as much as I can. But you are welcome to join in and work the room with me!
OK, I think that’s about it for now! I need to go pack, and get ready for the big day.
By this time tomorrow, I’ll be Baltimore bound!
HERE I COME!!!!