This morning when I woke up, I smiled.
Because NEPA BlogCon was only a day away.
If you’ve kept up with me, you know that I co-organize this regional blogging and social media conference with some amazing people. I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am for the support we get from our sponsors, our volunteers, our speakers, and of course, my colleagues Karla and Michelle.
We’ve worked hard all year to put this together. We’ve planned, we’ve talked strategy, we’ve contacted and networked our butts off. We’ve coordinated, updated spreadsheets, and messaged each other at all hours. We shook hands. We went to meetings. We went to meetings that weren’t ours.
And it’s all worth it. Every year, since this whole thing was born out of the idea that NEPA should have something better, I’ve been inspired. When people believe in something so much, do the work, and champion their cause it’s hard to ignore what that brings.
I know that NEPA BlogCon has brought hope to our region. We’re not as behind the times as we claim to be. We’re not uneducated or unmotivated. Hundreds of people who come to BlogCon every year show the exact opposite.
I’ve seen the look on their faces as ideas bubble up and out of them. That spark and pure…joy. Yes, it’s a lot like joy.
I know that NEPA BlogCon has helped people. We get tweets, email messages, and have conversations with people who tell us how NEPA BlogCon helped them get a job, find what they love to do, and gave them courage. We’ve heard from the non-profits who put the money we raised to good use in delivering much-needed services to our community.
And most importantly, we’ve seen the joy in the faces of 16 girls who spent a week of their summer learning about technology. They didn’t want to go home. And neither do we.
Sometimes I’m asked why I do this every year – why I spend so much of my time meeting and planning and emailing. I do it for joy.
The joy of knowing that I’m helping people in our area do something better – to be better.
The joy of meeting new people every year who inspire me to always look at the world with wonder and excitement.
The joy of working alongside talented volunteers and co-organizers, from the beginning to where we are now. People who make me want to work harder, learn more, and try fearlessly. The founders of this whole gig – Karla, Michelle, and Leslie.
The joy of always learning something new from speakers and presenters who bring so much to this area, this event, and to the world.
And tomorrow, I’ll get to share in that joy again.
What a gift it is to be able to do that.