In The Valleys We Grow
If you follow on social media, you’ll know that I spent last weekend in Palm Springs with some amazing bloggers in a 3 day get together sponsored both by Bing and some incredible other brands (see friday’s faves!) and the weekend was hosted by the amazingly talented Chelsea, Kelly, and Brittni. We had a cabinet stuffed to the gills with craft supplies, party goodies, fresh flowers, and tools. We had a refrigerator crammed full of sweets, drinks, and anything a girls heart could desire. These girls really pulled off an amazing fete.
I have to tell you, though, before my trip to Palm Springs, I was feeling a little bad for myself. I just wasn’t feeling my usual spunk and I felt drained and without inspiration. So as we’re spending time together in a hot, tropical valley, I got to thinking about growth. I set out to explore, to learn, and to grow with these other talented women. So that is what I set to do, get out of my funk. Unfortunately, things sometimes get worse before they get better, but I learned that mountainous growth most evident when you’re in a valley…theoretically (and literally in this case).
Settle in for this (novel of a post) and let me explain. Aside from generally feeling stagnant, my trip didn’t start out stellar. The airline cancelled my flight, they didn’t reschedule me. I had a gate attendant in Columbus literally tell me to ‘figure it out’ in Chicago as she ushered me onto an outbound plane without a connecting flight. The wonderful people in Chicago patched something together and got me to Palm Springs just a few hours later than my original time. The downside? They couldn’t recover my luggage, but I could deal with that. I had my valuables in my carry-on and the rest of my stuff would follow the next day. Sure, I’m going to a tropical destination without so much as a bottle of spf or a swimsuit, but I’ll make do. I spent the day traveling in a grey dress, spent the evening dinner in said dress, slept in the dress, and woke up the next morning to wear the same grey dress.
When my luggage arrived the next day, I was elated. I showered, changed, and was a new Erin. The whole thing was a small valley. A really small valley. I say that because a bigger one came. Later that night while we were enjoying an amazing taco dinner at the Ace Hotel, our vacation house was robbed…. and they cleaned. me. out. Every single thing in my room was gone. All I had were the clothes I was wearing… again. When I walked into my room, I did a double-take. I couldn’t believe someone would be so thorough (for lack of better words). My computer? Of course, I expected they’d take that. My Louis Vuitton weekender? Again, yes, I assumed that would be on the list of things to burgle. A pair of Louboutin sandals? Some stylish bandits.
There were things that I didn’t expect they’d want, but were just within proximity, so off they went – from memory cards full of photos and notebooks full of sketches to all of my makeup, hairdryer, and jewelry. This was a new low. It may just seem like stuff, but it was my stuff. It was stuff that I used to make a living, stuff that I bought overseas, stuff that was given to me for Christmases and Birthdays. I expected feeling upset at the loss of my things, but what I didn’t expect was the feeling of being completely violated; the knowledge that a stranger was going through the things that I hold near and dear with complete disrespect. This valley was a pretty big one.
I was in a fog through the rest of the night and the discussions with police officers and a trip to Walmart to get something to wear the rest of my time in Palm Springs seemed to pass by in a blur.
But wouldn’t you know it? It’s in the valleys that we grow. It was following this moment that I felt the highest high of the trip. We took the change of location (and the absence of a craft supply bonanza) to really just get to know each other. During a time when I felt so disconnected from normalcy, I experienced the most comfort. I was surrounded by my peers – those girls in my industry who I interact with online everyday – yet this time in person. I learned of the proverbial valleys that others were in, the struggles we feel in both our home and blog lives. Everything from blogging to when to have kids to buying homes and sometimes none of that going our way. We were sharing trade secrets and dishing about blog blunders and triumphs. I could feel myself regrowing with each funny anecdote or outburst of laughter. We stayed up late and drank wine out of dixie cups and played games. We talked about our lives and our pet peeves, and our dreams. It was both in that valley in California and that valley in my life that I felt such sharp acknowledgement of the peaks, and knew I was definitely on the way up.
p.s. I really struggled with whether or not to tell you guys about this. I wanted to come back and tell you about all of the beautiful, wonderful, colorful things we did, but doing that without sharing what my heart really went through felt like a lie. I’ll be back next week to discuss all of the AWESOME things that happened and some new projects, series, and products that you’re sure to love!
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