What Blissdom felt like

by arianne

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{The gang, from left: Amber, Sara Sophia, Moi, Abby, Ashleigh}

I seatbelt into car, hear engine roar and am on my way. Six quick hours and I pick up my bestie, hug her babies, and roar off to Nashville.  We catch up as any far away heart friends do, and arrive at Opryland ready to crash. No crashing allowed at Blissdom tho, and squeals meet hugs and laying around hotel rooms with all our favorites finishes the night.

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The next four days bring tears of laughter and pain, each one falling for someone new. Friends I miss, heart strings tugged tight (like Jessica – above – and Nish and Emily and Angie and Robin and and and), all are here to partake in business and fun for this once a year romp. We dance together, speak at sessions and find tribes as likeminded souls who long for community.  Sponsors are real and relevant and even give me new undies to take home. I don’t win an iPad but I do meet new hearts and come home feeling more than satisfied.

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When writers gathered we had a workshop on prompts, and I led a tribe with two sisters who all together made vulnerable the new black. We shared our work, clapped and cried and came home richer.  This writer tribe of almost all new faces inspired me so.  Sharing some of what I wrote from the prompts is to come, but today is for remembering how it all felt.

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{the (in)courage gang and me – love!}

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{Epic from left: Lisa, Tsh, Moi}

The day I was to be on stage, I paled with nerves. Panic was bent on overtaking my heart but my (in)courage sisters prayed me into peace. Lisa is very good to cry with, in case you were wondering. She will cry just as much and hold your heart in her hands and pray over it.  She is an epic friend like that.  My session went wonderfully and I could hardly believe it but there were people – real people gathered and waiting to talk to me later. Maybe my mind was scared because a part of me knew it would go so well? I like being hidden behind a screen, but out in front, reading you my heart – that’s a different story. My co-speaker Heather calmed me and prepped me and coddled me and our presenter Cecily was beyond amazing.

Arianne Segerman

With love I talked about my work, about The Lovely Guide and Story Bleed and Lifetime Moms and saw people be happy for me. The thing about my tribe, my true community, is that they are happy for my successes. I nod just thinking about the new people I heart connected with, like Mique and April and Jessica and all you others that I’m spacing at this moment but do carry in my pocket still. I wore on my arm the most luscious tote from Gussy and got to giggle with Megan and Alli and hug so so many more. I got teary with Amy and met Ryan – two artists I admire immensely.

We are the rare breed, who work and play together, all in one big mix, all the lines of that blurred because we so love what we do.  This doesn’t happen everywhere.

From Jana’s immense talent, 90+ of us popped up during the last main ballroom session to please the crowd with a true and real flash mob.  I may have stopped breathing and the excitement and looks on the surprised faces will warm my heart for a good long spell.

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I was pulled in every which way because of my extra duties, and didn’t have sit down heart time that I would’ve liked with many people, but the tone and love was enough. Looking into eyes, rubbing pregnant bellies, shaking our behinds together, opening gifts to each and from each other and long hugs hello and goodbye are filling me up now.

I can’t wait for next year.

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Thank you to LifetimeMoms for sponsoring my travel – couldn’t have been there without you. Lifetime Moms is adding a new partnership with bloggers soon, let me know if you’re interested.

I read this post back and remember SO MANY NAMES and faces that I’m not mentioning or linking – I have a bit of link fatigue now but please know I love you, yes YOU and haven’t forgotten about our moment. Epic keynotes by Brene Brown and Scott from Unmarketing were perfect bookends.

Just fyi, SarahDanielleLora Lynn – (and all the others who couldn’t make it…) WE MISSED YOU.

<3 <3 <3

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