Independence from Vegas Anxiety


Lately, I noticed that I feel this compulsive need to care what others think. A lot. As I prepare for the TPT Conference awesomeness of next week, I am scared. See, I am a socially awkward person. Really. If you've chatted with me away from school, you'll see how I am able to stick my foot in my mouth. A lot. Fortunately, I make a decent first impression. :)

My latest anxiety in planning this trip is what I'm going to wear. I'm not gonna lie - I'll be wearing shorts, tee shirts, and comfortable shoes. It's going to be around 107 F on the days I'll be there, so I will be indoors as much as possible!! When the temps in NC hit the high 90's, we (I) stay inside, drink a lot of lemonade... and eat Chunky Monkey ice cream. Vegas is causing a huge anxiety for me, and I am observing this anxiety in my social media groups.

Last Thursday, I posted a pic to a group on fb showing my choices of outfits for the trip (I made it into a collage using PicsArt, since I'm learning how). I deleted the picture about 5 hours later, as it highlighted the anxiety others were feeling. Social media friends in the group liked the pic and/or made positive comments, and I got great advice - wear v-necks to accentuate my long neck. :) I felt good. validated. like I was going to fit in fine at the conference. like I'm going to accomplish my business goals by attending the conference. I have goals you know. actual goals, like learning more about marketing and design, as well as all of the tips and advice, not just to visit with my online contacts!

What I didn't expect, and the reason I am writing this rambling post, is the level of anxiety in many of the responses. I have no idea what to wear. I won't fit in like you. You're so thin. I used to be thin. I am not going to look good in the pictures. I used to be pretty, too. Omigod, I cried for the people who shared that level of anxiety as I deleted the post. It's been on my mind ever since.

Here's what I want you to know:

You are amazing. You are a person who is taking the time to learn from others and hone the craft of entrepreneurship. Many of you are doing this alongside your "day job," as an extra income like me. I didn't learn much about marketing, graphic design, accounting, or business principles until I became an entrepreneur myself. Wear shorts and comfy shoes. Don't stress about feeling left out of so many different secret group meals and meet-ups. Seriously, everywhere you turn, there will be folks, and the TPT crowd seems to stand out, and they are friendly. Chat with them. Build those connections that keep us a community, as opposed to competition. Don't build your Vegas happiness around getting a ton of likes on social media. Just enjoy, learn as much as you can, and take care of yourself, as traveling is rough. Be ready to roll with changes, and enjoy yourself.

I put my foot in my mouth repeatedly during the conference last year. I met a friend for cocktails, and was totally star-struck and awkward when I saw the huge group of folks who looked so happy to meet me... I said, "Oh, I remember your blog," to a top 10 presenter, "Aren't you upper elementary?" I continued. Her reply, "Of course, this meetup is for Upper Elementary." Awkward... So I say, "Well, it's a good thing I crashed this meetup!" Ummmm... I wanted to crawl under a table... and she smiled, laughed, and even continued to chat with me. Whew! I also missed the huge meetup due to a late flight in Atlanta. I arrived 30 minutes after it was over, still smelling like a plane, but I went anyway, just to see where it was. The group of  sellers I met were amazing. They were tidying up, picking up raffle tickets from the carpeting, so I helped and chatted. Everyone was so kind, taking pictures with me, listening to my story, and hearing me be socially awkward, I'm sure. Here's the lesson - Do it anyway! Put yourself out there. These are other amazing people, just like you.

I am ok with the huge bags under your eyes from traveling, your comfortable shoes, and your being star struck when you see the rest of the awesome-sauce at the conference. Just go and have fun. Go with it if when I say something awkward. Just know that I think we are an amazing group of people, and that the lighting at the conference will be so yellow that everyone will be using a filter, so #embraceit!

This week, I declare my Independence from the Vegas Anxiety. Anyone with me? We can stay indoors, rest our feet, and eat Chunky Monkey ice cream. I'll be the one standing in the corner, trying not to be awkward, with my comfortable foot in my mouth...

13 comments

  1. YES! I've mentioned online I wish TPT would schedule PJ Thursday and Yoga Pants Friday because as much as I love being professionally/fancifully dressed, in the summer I just want to be COMFORTABLE. I'm with ya! I'm still on the hunt for a hat because I don't blow dry my hair in the summer...lol

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    1. PJs and yoga pants sound reasonable to me!
      ~Jen

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  2. Yeah....I'll be the one in the stretchy dresses with no waistband and the shoes that don't match because I don't know what kind of shoes to wear with stretchy dresses with no waistband. I think I'm more anxious about flying by myself than the conference...but being there alone does have me anxious about where to go, will anyone talk to me, etc. I think this is a great way to strap on my big girl panties and just DO IT! Can't wait to meet you!

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  3. I'm tempted to be social media free over the trip. I want to enjoy and not worry about getting likes or being present on social media. I want to be present in the moment. Thanks for this post! I am going to officially stop stressing about my attire right NOW. :)
    Cassie
    www.adventuresinteachingblog.com

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  4. Yes! Shorts, shirts, comfy shoes! If I'm going to be socially uncomfortable, I want to be physically comfortable! My comfort is knowing that others are feeling just as socially awkward, so we all fit together!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

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  5. Great post! I have to keep reminding myself that I don't have to be perfect.... Just relax, learn and have fun!
    Hope to meet you there!!
    Pam

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  6. Great post! I have to keep reminding myself that I don't have to be perfect.... Just relax, learn and have fun!
    Hope to meet you there!!
    Pam

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  7. I just love the honesty in your post. You got right to the heart of it and I think it was a great reminder to me to be less stressed and just to take it all in. I too stress about silly things like clothes and really, I know it will all turn out just fine. I really hope to meet you there. :)

    Jenn
    The Teacher Next Door

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  8. Love, love this post! As another TpT conference is almost here, I am definitely getting those high school reunion type anxieties and worries. Thank you, thank you for sharing that I am not the only one! Also glad to know that I am not the only one with a shoe in my mouth from time to time!

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  9. Wow! This is a great post! I am really nervous about going and what I am going to wear! Thanks so much for putting this out there! I am really looking forward to the conference!
    Hilary
    Primary Planet!

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  10. Thank you... I have literally have lost my mind in the past couple of days about what to wear and what not to wear. This post spoke to me and I am going to take your advice and CALM down. lol. Of course I want to make a good impression but I also want to feel comfortable in being myself. This has been a great reality check. I hope to meet you in Vegas.

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  11. Thanks for putting me at ease! Your post expressed my feelings exactly. I am so excited to go to the TPT conference and so nervous at the same time! I can't wait to meet all of the wonderful teachers, edubloggers and fellow TPT sellers.

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  12. You have no idea how much I needed this! I'm terrified to go alone but I'm doing it anyway. And now I feel a little bit better about all of it...thanks to you. I'm all in for the Chunk Monkey (my favorite!) so I hope we do get a chance to meet.
    Thank you, my friend!
    Dianne
    www.techteachertidbits.com
    ~Formerly known as Hopelessly Devoted~

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