I write. Sometimes it comes easily to me and other times I struggle.
I blog. I don’t take it too seriously, and I allow myself to be totally real on the blog.
I teach. I take it very seriously and sometimes I get frustrated with the current state of education.
I parent. Sometimes it comes easily, and other times I struggle. Sometimes I take it seriously and other times I take it easy.
This week I have the privilege of attending a national writing conference for educators, and the bonus is that I’m attending it on a full scholarship. I feel honored to have been chosen for this award, and I’m excited to mingle with and learn from my fellow writers and educators. The question is, which face do I show today?
Am I the elementary school teacher who happens to teach summer writing workshops at the University? Am I the educator/writer who has been involved with the National Writing Project in various capacities for the past five years? Am I the world-famous blogger and author of BulgingButtons? Am I the aspiring Young Adult novelist who is working on revising her manuscript? Am I the author of articles that have been published both online and in print? Am I the brains behind Soaring Pig Press? Yes. I am. But how do I share any of that with people I meet? Especially when at heart I’m an introvert?
Conferences can be difficult for me. I love them because I always learn a lot, but I’m not naturally outgoing, so the in-between times can be a little awkward for me. I feel like I have an obligation both to myself and to the good people who provided my scholarship to not only take away from the conference, but to contribute to it as well. Each voice that joins the conversation potentially adds to the experience. Each point of view, each anecdote, each shred of advice or encouragement helps to build a valuable and comprehensive learning environment. I feel that I have to be part of that building process. I have to bring something to the table, so to speak.
No, I’m not expected to give a presentation, but I do expect to push myself out of my comfort zone and make some connections at this conference. I will introduce myself as a writer, educator, and blogger, and I will listen to others with an open mind and an open heart. I will learn and I will share what I’ve learned. I will happily accept encouragement, and I will freely share it with others. I feel sure that this conference will be a positive learning experience, and by walking in with that knowledge, it can’t help but be true, no matter which face I happen to be showing.