Getting out of your comfort zone and life lessons

I know there are a gajillion blog posts floating around about the blog conference SNAP.  I have already posted my talk and music video I shared there. And I am sure all of you who did not go are probably sick of hearing about it. But my recap is a little different.

A couple months after I started blogging I made a promise that I would be open to new things and be willing to step outside my comfort zone. As a stay at home mom I had fallen into a rut. I had a very comfy comfort zone that included my painting clothes, pony tails, never leaving the house except for Walmart, and never putting myself out there. And I started to see that blogging had potential to change that.

This was my first time speaking at a conference. I have done television and spoken to small groups but this was different. On TV there was either no audience or it was a  very small one. I could pretend that I was just talking to the host and the camera men. But at the conference I had to stare out at all these faces. Plus, I was showing my music video!!! I have posted a music video on my blog before but I didn’t have to sit in the same room with my readers and see their reaction. I was a nervous wreck! You can ask my roommates. I was a mess the night before and all morning leading up to it. So thank you if you were there and laughed. It made me giving my talk that much easier :)

I realized when the conference was almost done that I had not taken very many pictures with my camera. This was my third conference and at the first two I was so concerned with getting pictures with everyone. This time I was more concerned with experiencing everything. I was just there and in the moment. It was good :)

The biggest life lesson was a fear I conquered. It is hard for me to talk about and I almost didn’t include this in my post.  It has to do with dancing…….

When I was in Jr. High and High School I weighed 100-110 pounds and had the same size boobs I have now…… BIG. You can imagine the kind of negative attention I got from boys. I took weight training class there at the Jr. High and High School. I loved it. But as part of our circuit training we had to run around the track. The guy’s weight room was across the basement from the girl’s. There would be a guy that was on “look out”. When I came out to run my laps he would alert the other guys and they came out and watched.  It made me feel sick. It was painful. And it kind of scarred me for life. It also happened out on the dance floor in Jr. High. So I stopped dancing.

I have not jogged, danced, or done anything else that involves movement in front of other people since High School. Seriously.

When I hear people talk about being bullied and how it has been crippling in certain aspects of their life I cry with them. I know that gut wrenching feeling. Every time I would go to a dance in college or at a blogging conference I would have a panic attack. I would want to join in but get sweaty and sick at the thought. And every time I get invited to go jogging or running with friends I always say no. It also comes to mind every day when I get dressed and I try to make my boobs look smaller by wearing cardigans and other things I can “hide” in.

At EVO (blog conference) last year I almost danced. I got on the dance floor and moved a little and then saw a few guys standing around and couldn’t breathe. I left. So this year while at SNAP I decided I was just going to do it. I was not going to over think it. I would just go through the motions until I started having fun. I don’t know how I did it, but I made up my mind and just went with it. And guess what!?!?

I had a BLAST! It was so freeing. I can’t even tell you how much  fun it was. I was sweaty but it was because I was shakin’ my booty  not because I was having a panic attack.

Here is a picture courtesy of Destiny. Not the most flattering but at least it proves I got my groove on :)

Can you spot me???

I came away from SNAP having learned a lot from the sessions, but also having learned a lot about ME.  :)

Here are the few pictures I did take……

My roommates :) Who I kept up until 4am Staci, Amanda, Michelle, me

Some of my favorite DIY buddies…. a few I met for the first time in real life! Kate, me, Rhoda, Traci, Beth, Wendy

Brittany! We spoke together there at SNAP about power tools.  This was taken right before I went on the dance floor. I think that is why I look cross eyed :P

More of my favorite “home” girls!!! Emily, Shelley, me, Destiny (Thanks Desitny for another picture!)

If you are a blogger, I really encourage you to attend a blog conference. I know they cost money and in some cases you have to travel. But for me, the first blogging conference was a HUGE pivotal point in my blogging career. I learned so much about blogging, social media, and photography. I made connections with other bloggers that are amazing. And I stepped outside my comfort zone a million times and never regretted it. I have grown as a person and as a blogger.

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  1. says

    Congrats on conquering your fear! I was chunky in Jr. High & HS and was SO shy. I would go to dances but never danced either. It wasn’t until my mid 20’s that I decided to just ‘go for it’ and since then I’ve never looked back. Being a free spirit is where it’s at! And looks like you had an amazing time at SNAP!

  2. Christy says

    What’s that saying? No one survives childhood unscathed? Something to that affect … Anyhoo- I think you have a wonderful blog and I hope it’s something you continue for a while!!! I always get great ideas from it, if not directly from you, from the awesome linky parties!

  3. says

    Your so cute!! I loveith you so much! Such a great post and your gorgeous, fun and happy! So glad that I got a chance to pick your smarty blog brain! Your such a blessing friend!

  4. says

    First, let me say that you did a FANTASTIC job when speaking at SNAP! I was in the audience and can vouch for the creativity and humor in your video. Second, I totally get it about the dancing… not because of my boobs (although I can relate to what you’re saying) but because I dance like Elaine from Seinfeld. The older I get, the more my upper and lower body refuse to work independently of one another. Stiff, White Man’s Over-bite, Elaine-Style dancing… that’s what I bring to the dance floor. :) Great job conquering your fear. I saw you out there and you looked great! xoxo

    • says

      Stacy and I could have been awkward skinny, big boob friends in high school, but vivienne….you and I could tear up the dance floor, Elaine Style! I’m all little kicks and awkward, randomly flying limbs! You just had me laughing, and I appreciate that at 6:44 a.m. :D

  5. says

    Wow, I can soooo relate to the middle school high school thing. Same size, same issues. Except I also had bullying from other girls because of the attention of the boys. Double whammy!
    I’m so glad you are letting go of your fears and embracing life again! :)

  6. says

    I know exactly how you felt..I had that similar feeling in school years. comfort zone be gone ! Im trying too..but I am still introverted and quiet around other people I dont know.
    Thanks for an inspiring post here Stacey
    Come join my give away of a shopping bag I designed for Kroger contest. I dont have many takers yet for some reason

    Oh well
    – KAT –

  7. says

    Stacy this post really hits home. I had the same experience as a young girl, and am paying for it now. It got to the point that I did not want to be thin, because I have such a large chest. When I had kids, it only got bigger. So the weight started piling on. The truth is, I want to lose weight now, but I fear that I will be the big chested eye sore that I once was in school. What a great post, and this has given me some inspiration to just go for it.

    Thank you for sharing today!

  8. says

    Sounds like fun! And good for you stepping out of your comfort zone. From one big boob to another, they have some really good jogging bras for that. ;)

  9. says

    I think we all have that “thing” whatever it is that we truly believe is a huge wart on our nose. As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that #1) I see the wart more than others and #2) God made me exactly how He wanted me to be and that is BEAUTIFUL!! You are a beautiful lady and a talented one at that. Thank you for being honest and open. God bless! ~Linda

  10. says

    I love you and I am so glad you danced with us! It would not have been the same without you. Frankly the whole thing would not have been the same without you which is why i am so happy you are considering EVO!

  11. says

    I know it was tough to write, but this was an important post. At thirteen I had a 24″ waist and 36C breasts. To this day, I can’t tell you if I was pretty or not. It was all about the boobs with boys. I held my books over them and wouldn’t have dreamt of running. I turned 60 this year and have not forgotten one moment of the embarrassing high school years! Your post encourages others to shut out those ancient voices in their memory banks and enjoy who they are! ~ Maureen
    ps – You are very pretty and I’m sure people are actually looking at your lovely face and great hair now.

  12. Maureen says

    Thanks for being brave and REAL! So many people use their blogs to make things sound like they are perfect, and none of us are, neither are our lives. You will probably never know how many people you touched today by sharing your story and the message to go for it! Good for you, I am so proud of you!

  13. Kristy Cirillo says

    First I have to ask, where did you get that yellow shirt you are wearing? Gorgeous and…. it looks stunning on you, a perfect color. As for the boobs… I lost mine after breastfeeding 2 children but I feel your pain from highschool. I would wear baggy shirts to cover them up… then I just looked frumpy and the “mean” girls said I was a lesbian (nice huh) I only stumbled across your blog maybe 2 months ago or so .. from your so creative wooden lamps … but I have to say Stacy, I love following you! I don’t follow many on a daily, weekly basis but I do you! Thank you for sharing your story and WAY to go on speaking that is awesome. Kristy

  14. says

    I am feeling this post like….in my gut Stacey. Oh my gosh. Those freakin’ boobs! The worst memories. They are for sure some of my self-esteem worst enemies. I SOOOOOOOOOO wish I was there to dance with you. I would have loved that like….so much. You are an inspiration. Maybe we can both embrace our 2 most annoying blessings. :) Love you.

  15. says

    Isn’t it sad how things that happened to us in our teen years carry over and continue to affect us even years later? I’m so glad you were able to relax and just enjoy yourself, and I hope that you will never go back to feeling the other way!

  16. says

    Wow, its interesting to hear the other perspective… middle and high school, boys avoided me like the plague. At 5’6″ and only 130 lbs in high school, my family called me fat and at school I was ugly or “Moose”. I am so glad that it didn’t affect my ability to tear up the dance floor though. I will even be the first one out there sometimes!

  17. says

    Your story is so empowering, Stace. I am so shy and nervous to try new things. I’ve been slowly working to conquer my fears and seeing that you did it is a huge help! I’m so proud of you! Looks as if the conference was a great time! Sad to have missed it but looking forward to Haven!