Over a year ago Jacy and I met in person. Together with Scabs, Mac, Buffalo Gal and other amazing women we spent a weekend having an experience that I think changed all our lives. I think it planted a seed for Jacy that has now grown into a full-blown event.
As the weeks leading up to the event passed and I didn't register I couldn't put my finger on why. I've spent two weekends away from my family at Camp Scabs (another beautiful idea that came from our original retreat) and another weekend running in a race. There has been a persistent feeling that I should stay home this weekend. I chalked it up to being here for my kids because Pete is actually attending an SA conference this weekend as well. But I still hadn't quite been able to really wrap my head around why I am missing this opportunity to learn, but especially to see my amazing WoPA community.
This morning as last minute emails are flying around, and weekend plans are being made, I had a meltdown. It would be easy to say that I just felt sad about not being there, but it was more. It is a fear, a really deep insecurity that I have. While I washed a cookie sheet and tried to process all my feelings Ben Howard sang to me
"I've been worryin' that we all live our lives in the confines of fear."
I'm afraid that if I'm not there people WON'T miss me. I'm afraid that if I don't go I'll miss out on the recognition I might get for being involved, for being part of that original group of women who dreamt big. I fear that my friendships will suffer because other friendships are strengthened. Fear about missing all the validation that my WoPA offer me. Fear that my worth is proportional to the number and quality of these relationships I have. Fear that I'm missing out. Fear that it will be amazing (which it will) and I will regret not being there.
And of course my biggest fear of all, my fear that by not being there, I am inherently inferior to all those who are there.
I'm learning to lean into the pain so I sat on the couch and cried it out. I turned to God, and he answered me.
"This is why I didn't want you to go. I want you to look these fears and insecurities in the eye and own them. And face them. And then overcome them."
I wish I could be there. I wish I could see you all. I wish I could soak up all the wisdom from the amazing speakers. But for Heaven's sake! I'm not the loser I'm making myself out to be. And the only way missing this event could possibly be worth it is if I can really really internalize that and get through the weekend without having another fear-based meltdown.
So I'll spend Saturday with my little people, and try to practice a little gratitude, live in the present and trust that when it's over my friends will still be my friends.