Sunday, July 22, 2007, 6:44 p.m.
Early Friday morning, eight-month-old DD, Lily, and I left to travel to the 50th anniversary LLL conference, my first LLLI conference. We flew via plane with a transfer in the middle. As I sat with her on one of these planes, filled with excitement and thinking about the upcoming conference and sessions, I realized that I was on my way to find my tribe. In almost any LLL setting, I have almost always felt right at home. Knowing that you share such a deep-seated passion with another woman and mother creates a wonderful, almost instant connection.
Later, upon arriving at the hotel, I admit, there was a brief moment of panic, since I didn't actually know many people, at least not by face. Was I here, lost and alone, at this huge gathering?
The feeling didn't last long, however. Soon, waiting to meet with other Ripplewood Scholarship recipients and with the arrival of my roommate (a friend and Leader from a nearby town), I began to feel right at home again. I have been able to put faces to a few names I have known only in the virtual world. I've also been able to meet some women from my very own VA/WV area, as we briefly met this morning to touch base and meet our new ACL.
The conference has been very exciting so far, even though I haven't even been able to sit through a full-session with Lily. I'm purchasing the conference library with some other Leaders, so I'll have plenty of time to continue “experiencing” the conference and its materials for months to come. The irreplaceable experiences are the smiles in the elevators, from mothers and babies, the chats in the hall, the one-on-one quiet time in my room with Miss Lily, and of course, the shopping ;)
It's been a great experience so far, and I'm so glad I came!