Many months ago my friend B and I discussed going to see one of our favorite authors, Glennon Doyle, speak at the keynote session of the 2017 Innovations in Behavioral Healthcare conference in Nashville, TN.
We had never been on a trip like this together and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to go through with it – inevitably Boo would get sick, or Husband would be traveling with work, or something would cause me to not be able to go. I reserved the hotel and registered for the conference with cautious, hopeful, excitement.
But nothing terrible happened. We got to go. On Father’s Day, B and I loaded up my Fiat and headed west. We arrived at the hotel and went around the corner to enjoy dinner at Merchants. I’d been able to snag us dinner reservations on the first floor, the bistro, and it was fabulous! I highly recommend checking this place out if you’re heading to the area. I will definitely be going back at my next opportunity.
The next morning, we were up bright and early to get ready for the day’s events. The conference provided an excellent breakfast, so we chowed down and B, a social worker, loaded up on literature to take back for co-workers.
We headed upstairs to the event, as we were both anxious to get seats and I wanted to make sure to have all of the details surrounding the invitation only VIP meet and greet I had managed to get us both into.
Earlier in the week, I had reached out to the conference to request a copy of the agenda, and mentioned that a friend and I were coming in from out of town specifically to hear Glennon speak. Having heard that her meet and greets can last for hours and be completely spectacular, I asked the conference organizer if there would be a meet and greet at this event. It turns out there was, and I was extended an invitation. I asked if B could join as well, and they graciously agreed.
The meeting room was smaller than I anticipated, but turned out to be appropriately sized for the group. Glennon and her wife Abby Wambach sat 2 rows ahead of us while she was being introduced. Glennon came on stage with the interviewer, each seated in a plush chair, and began talking.
Glennon told her story of addiction and recovery, with content familiar to those who have read her books Carry On, Warrior and Love Warrior. Despite knowing much of what she was going to say before she said it, hearing her speak was still amazing and enlightening. I took 7 pages of notes! A lot of her talk seemed to resonate with B in her work life as well, so I was very glad for that, too.
After their discussion concluded, we joined a small group of people in a different room for the meet and greet. I had brought hard-copies of both of her books with me, as I had originally read them on my Kindle.
When it was my turn to meet her, I nearly started crying. I have followed her work for several years, and absolutely love her message. When she signed my books, she picked up on things I had mentioned that she’s famous for saying, that really resonated with me. She inscribed each copy – “first the pain, then the rising” and “we can do hard things.” I told her that some of her ideas have revolutionized my style of parenting, and we discussed my amazing daughter. It was a fabulous experience that I will not soon forget and I am so grateful to have gotten to enjoy it alongside one of my dearest friends.
Until next time,