I swear, I'm never negative and for me to put that last pity party post out was out of my comfort zone. You know why? I know things will work out as they are supposed to. I know that I have lessons to learn. I know that all will not be good and I have to have hard lessons in order to grow.
I had the incredible privilege to talk to Jen O'Connor, creative business speaker extraordinaire, last week. The crazy thing is Laura listened to her speak during the Country Living Fair and told me I HAD to find her and talk to her. I tried on Saturday, but couldn't figure out where she was and blew it off. I came home from the weekend and was all down in the dumps, thinking maybe I was trying to hard for something that wasn't worth it. I thought about Jen O'Connor and I thought about reaching out to her and telling her all about my failure. I didn't. THEN. Then my friend, Laura Putnam of Finding Home (you need to read her inspiring blog), left me a message to call her. Ok, Laura and I are friends. We see each other a couple of times a year…if we're lucky. We don't talk on the phone. Of course, I call her because I respect her and would do anything she asked of me. She begins telling me about a friend that she ran into at a track meet that she doesn't see very often. She needed to catch up with her. They start talking about The Country LIving Fair in Lebanon, Tennessee….wait, I forgot to tell you that Laura lives in New York. ya. So, Laura tells track meet friend that she has a friend that did the show and didn't feel good about it. (me) The FIRST thing out of Jen's mouth is, "We don't do these shows to make money." What the…. Ok, so we learn that brand recognition is why we do these shows. Nice, here's my brand, I've spent a lot of money to get here, now I'm going home with a giant hole in my bank account. Seriously, though I'm listening to Laura P and trying not to interrupt her. She was talking to the same Jen O'Connor that Laura D. said I needed to talk to all weekend. Laura P. tells me that Jen is exactly the person I need to be talking to. Seriously, people. I need you to understand that this was a God thing. You realize that these stars aligned and I needed to be told that the Country Living Fair wasn't all about money, it was about learning a lesson and finding Jen O'Connor. :-) I reach out to Jen and tell her our connection. She calls me the next day, we talk for about 30 minutes. She gives me a little homework and we are about to reignite this Lucy's Inspired gig I've got going!
Fast forward to Friday of last week and I'm heading to Montgomery, Alabama to do another show, Southern Makers. I was on the board for this event for the first two years and feel like a part of my heart belongs there. I was really excited about going and a little skeptical at the same time. Coming off a show that cost more than I made was a hit to the ego. What if, what if, what if.
Saturday morning comes around and I head over to the Train Shed and immediately, I know this is going to be an amazing weekend.
These are my people.
Creatives that are together in one place using their brains and hands to create things from the South. Ninety-nine percent of these folks are from Alabama. We are all on the same team. We want to do something to make this state of ours a better place. We want to enjoy and celebrate the fact that the South is coming back to life. There is a renewal here. This space we are in gives each of us a connection to the artists, a place for the artists to tell their story.
I'm so thankful for what Southern Makers is doing for creatives in Alabama and around the South. It's inspiring to be a part of such an exciting event. George Jones, Jr. describes it best when he tells you there is an electricity running through the place. I'm humbled to be a part of this revival of art, craft, food, music, Alabama and the South.