It seems like an odd place to start. I'm a stencil business owner and I decide to attend my first planner conference. This conference is touted by many as a "sticker maker's conference" so why would I go? It's the mentality - go big or go home. I found GO Wild to be the mecca of planner conferences. The cost of attending is outrageous - seriously it cost over $500 to buy a ticket to attend. Once you get over the "what have I done" thoughts and realize you just blew a significant portion of your savings to attend a conference based on your hobby, you question your sanity.
A few years ago, I belonged to the infamous "PGW" on Facebook. I belonged to this group back in the "EC Fans Gone Wild" days to date myself and how long I've been a part of this community. It was a few years ago when I decided to leave this FB group and pave my own path in the planner world. There wasn't any fanfare or triumphant grand exit - I just subtly removed myself from the group. My reason at the time was that I just didn't have the heart to be in the group anymore. There were "mean girls" abounding, ruining the fun atmosphere I had found at first and it just didn't seem like a good fit for me anymore. Do I have any issues with the group and members - no - but as much as the llamas are full of love, I wasn't feeling the love at the time. This wasn't even towards me - it was just a general "ugh" feeling, at times even affecting my mental health, and it just seemed like the time to bow out. Around the same time, I decided to do a mass unfollow with my business IG account and when large names took notice I then received a massive unfollow because, as I'm sure with the rumor mill at large, people felt I was "picking a side." What side? That's a damn good question. I wasn't siding with anyone. I just didn't really feel like the "llama" title ever fit me and I've always considered myself a lone wolf. No worries llamas - I'm not a fan of llama meat.
With the knowledge that I'm not actually a member of PGW and I don't really consider myself a llama, why attend this conference?
For about a year now, I've struggled with my creativity. I never really felt like I was born a "creative." I always favored the sciences in school - hell, I even have an undergrad in Statistics. I'm a number junkie and I found peace in solving equations and trying to understand data. It's concrete. I hated art classes in school - and as soon as another elective was available I jumped at taking that. How in the world, did someone who never imagined themselves as a small business owner suddenly in 2016 start a small business - and a creatively-based one at that?
Back to the subject at hand - creatively, I've been floundering. Where ideas used to flow freely and I felt a strong passion for my DLD work, I just don't have it anymore. I wanted this conference to breathe some life back into my creative side (if it even exists??) and I thought maybe this will be the trick.
So... did it do what I wanted? No. Short and sweet, it didn't bring me what I'd hoped. It did open my eyes to see the planner community better though, but perhaps that's another post for another day.