Wow. I do not even know where to begin to sum up everything I learned at MTH 2013. Everything I learned about myself, my core, what I want in life, what inspires me, what I should be doing less of in order to do more of what matters most. This was not a typical conference, y'all. It was more of a kick in the butt- a wake up call to start living the life I want NOW and making my biggest dreams come true.
One of the biggest things I learned at MTH was that I should always be my truest self, and to feel great about being open with others about myself. So, I'm going to share with y'all some of my biggest takeaways from MTH:
- I used to think it was better for me to be in a position where I was second in command in a leadership role or job. To be more behind the scenes. It was easier that way. But that's not who I am. I love being able to have an idea of my own and run with it, to be the one that people come to with questions, to make mistakes and learn from them, to try new things. This is not to say that I want to run the world on my own- but that whatever position I am in, I want to be able to collaborate with others. To share my ideas and not fade into the background.
- YOLO. Yeah, that's overused and cliche to the extreme. But, for some reason this clicked and made so much more sense than how many people have been using it following a hashtag. I only have one life to live, so why live one that I'm not in love with and proud of? I am going to do all I can to live every day how I want to- focusing on what matters most to me and on what makes me happy and inspired.
- One of the speakers said a great quote- "feel the fear and do it anyway". This really resonated with me. Often times I hold back on doing something- a new project, applying for a job that I want, etc., because I'm afraid of the outcome. But, doing it and having any outcome is exponentially better than not doing it and always wondering what could have come from trying.
- Don't let silly distractions get in the way of living in the real world. I cannot tell you how amazing leaving my phone in my pocket and actually looking at my surroundings while I walked to class felt yesterday. What in the world. How ridiculous does that sound?! It seems so, so simple- to unplug from my phone, Pinterest, Twitter, email, and focus on the tangible, real things surrounding me. But, it often feels as if so much of life happens on those forms of media that if I don't check in frequently, I am going to miss responding to a comment or question by a friend. I feel like my grandparents saying this- but I wish that there was less communication via those forms of media and a bigger focus on face-to-face communication and living. Lets revert or at least tone it down a bit, please?
- And it all boiled down to this: I should dig deep into my heart to learn what I feel is most important. I should focus my attention on those things and values. I should live every day remembering those things and values- because doing so will get me excited! When I am excited, I am more likely to inspire others to focus on doing what they love. And that, is what I love.
After realizing everything I mentioned above and truly honing in on my core, I made lists upon lists of what I want to make happen this year. And guess what- I've already made so many of those things happen! I can't share details quite yet, but I'm excited to reveal them little by little over the upcoming months (sorry for being a bit cryptic)! It's amazing how much you can get accomplished with the right mindset and focus.
Now for the fun part: the pictures. I cannot believe that I had the chance to meet so many of my role models at MTH. These are the ladies I look up to each and every day. I learned at MTH that I do not aspire to be them, because they are their unique self. But, they inspire me to be a better ME. I didn't get pictures with each speaker, but here are the few that I do have. Excuse the gritty quality of Instagram pictures:
This is the lovely Amber Housley. I have been following her blog and work since I saw this post over the summer on the Southern Weddings blog. How adorable are the mini invitations? Naturally since I fell in love with them, I clicked on the link to her website. That was how I first discovered that wedding and event design is a career. Not just the part of my internships that I have always loved most- but a real life career. Huge lightbulb moment for me to say the least. And she was just oh so sweet to meet in person. I cannot wait to keep in contact with her and grow to know her more.
And this is miss Emily Ley! She is such a strong yet vulnerable, colorful yet real person. And she taught me that those words are not contradictions- they can and should exist together in a person. If you didn't know her, you might think that she just creates "pretty" paper products and various other fun goods. However, all of her work is inspired either by lessons she's learned or people she loves, and often a combination of the two. I loved finally getting to meet her in person : )
These ladies- Kristin and Nicole from Southern Weddings- aren't new faces, but ones that always make me want to shine and give everything my all. We were all wearing coral and/or pink pants that day! Clearly it called for a picture showcasing them.
This is is Tori of the Weekending Blog! We connected before MTH through our blogs, and became quick friends once we got to Chapel Hill. It's crazy how that is sometimes. I feel as though even though we only spent part of two days together, we will be able to have hour long conversations together the next time we meet up. And I love that. (PS- she's getting married soon! So exciting!)
Finally, these were my fantastic roommates- Emily, Stefanie, and Lauren. We are all at such different stages of our lives and careers, but we all got along so well and I was blessed to get to know them better.
MTH was life changing for me. I now start every day by planning out what I hope to accomplish and focus on- and I do it. Life is too short for distractions. If you are ever considering attending MTH, but aren't sure if you want to go- feel free to talk to me. I love sharing my story : )
Now, I'm off to pack for my cruise for spring break! I've never been on a cruise before- I can't wait! Helllooo Bahamas, restful time, and memories to be created. Be back in a week!