Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Feeling Inspired

A fellow BlogHer '15 attendee called it falling into Wonderland. 

Sharing my Kathleen-provided bottle of Prosecco with total strangers seemed an absolutely natural thing to do.

I began to use hashtags in my texts and emails; Little Cuter was quite impressed with me.

Anyone was welcome to sit anywhere.  If only Junior High School had been like that.  Imagine the Grand Ballroom of the Midtown Hilton filled with women who wanted you to be their friend. Everyone had something to offer; the only problem was finding the time to learn it all.

I took notes on the recto. I wrote the phrases which touched me on the verso. SheKnows Media was thoughtful enough to include a bound journal in our welcome bags.  That right there encapsulates the entire experience - a social media mavens gathering whose organizers gave us paper notebooks to record our thoughts.

Soledad O'Brien made a return appearance,this time with three of the scholars her Starfish Foundation is sending to college.... colleges like Smith and Princeton...."not inexpensive universities!" as she pointed out with a laugh.  Her pride in the young women sharing the stage was contagious; several thousand of us in the audience were beaming.  My takeaway?
Philanthropy doesn't have to be with a Capital P.  You do what you can.  Small is good.
Majora Carter, who is working to revitalize the South Bronx through one amazing project after another, spoke to us about her newest venture: urban on-shoring of tech jobs. This links to a video - with sound.  Tech companies were having trouble finding reliable, off-shore beta testers.  She offers training and then job placement right there in the South Bronx, creating jobs for those who thought there would never be one for them, and providing a solution for which companies were willing to pay.  My takeaway?
See the problem for what it is and know that there are many solutions. 
Teneshia Jackson Warner had us guffawing as she described her months long, ultimately successful campaign to get Russell Simmons to hire her at no fee.  He blew her off time and time and time and time again, yet she kept faxing and calling and showing up.  She flew across the country, west to east, north to south, which was, she admitted, somewhere on the other side of normal. 

But that was just where she encouraged us to be. On the journey required to become who you are meant to be, you have to examine the distance between your comfort zone and your dream. As a person who is often more tentative than I'd like to be, my takeaway was simple:
Be willing to stretch when the moment is before you.
I'm going to work on that.

Patrice Cullors and Opel Tometi, the creators of #BlackLivesMatter, set my head spinning.  Gwyneth Paltrow did not.  There were blog advisors and Girl Scouts and SEO's, and I'll get to them over the next few posts.  For now, though, I'm going to work on stretching.

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