In the Shadow of Light

February 23, 2010


It was all I could do to walk into that ballroom. I was on the tail end of a raging head cold. I was fighting the worst asthma issues I’ve had since diagnosis 6 months ago. I was fighting my inner introvert. I knew no one.

There were others who met up with hometown friends. Some finally got to meet blog and commenter friends from across the miles. Others are just downright conference junkies.

There were rockstars and influencers and newbies and virgins. Both sides of the aisle were represented in open discussions around blogging and PR rules of engagement. There were messages of vision and purpose and usability and renewal.

There were “ah-ha’s” and “me, too’s” and “no WAYs!” in every session – and in every minute there was inspiration and energy and resounding resolve to keep at it. What we do matters.

What WE do. WE. Until these two days I’m not sure I considered I could be part of a WE. Part of that WE.

I spent the better part of Day One in the shadows. Quietly attending sessions, nervously introducing myself to unfamiliar faces at a table for lunch or learning. Furiously taking notes. Waiting for the real reason I chose to attend to show up.

I thought I was there to validate an idea I’d had for two years. I asked strangers for their thoughts on the idea. Most said it was good – some said it was inspiring. It was nice to hear. But it all changed on Day Two.

On Day Two I sat and listened to the keynote address by Heather, Maggie and Gabrielle. The room was absolutely electric. Captivated. We sat at the feet of the masters (mistresses?). And then I heard it. “If you don’t really love what you are doing or writing about – it will never work.”



I realized I had a really good idea, but it was not mine to execute. I loved that it was a good idea – but it was not a love or passion. It was just exciting to have a good idea. And that’s not enough.

But then I had THE idea.

Something so fun and interesting to me that I thought I felt like a spotlight turned right on me and I might have squealed a little bit in the middle of that discussion. I had to look around to make sure I hadn’t. (No one seemed to have noticed.) And while the Ladies Extraordinaire continued on about purpose and interest and passion and inspiration I rode that idea all the way to on my iPhone and bought the domain that will become my next internet adventure.

It was in that moment that I didn’t feel like I needed to sit quietly in the shadows at the conference. I figured it out.

There’s an old saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I never understood that fully until this weekend. My teachers appeared in many forms filled with information and inspiration and “OMG that is a GREAT IDEA!”

That was even nicer to hear – and I am thankful for all that was shared. I promise you they were lessons well learned.

The Mom2.0Summit was the scariest and most interesting thing I’ve done in awhile – and that fun and fear cocktail is best served up ice cold with a fancypants umbrella in it. It is that cocktail I raise in toast of the women and men of Mom2.0 – here’s to a year of meaning, fun and inspiration.

Just imagine the stories from this coming year we will bring to New Orleans in 2011.

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8 Responses to “In the Shadow of Light”

  1. Cecily Says:

    Wow, this is SO inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing it.

  2. Knighton Says:

    Totally inspiring. And I was a big chicken in skipping Mom2.0. I’m in Austin – it was an easy trip. Introvert + Fear = Jennifer misses good & fun stuff.

    Congrats on the big idea. You can do it! Go Pammer Go!

    • Pammer Says:

      Thanks! It was hard but worth it. You should TOTALLY go to next year’s in New Orleans! And stay tuned for the next project — it should be fun. 🙂

  3. Lauren @IsabellaPrdcts Says:

    Hi Pam–great summary of how you felt–which is what you expressed when I met you Day 2 sitting with @smartassmama. I think we convinced her to live up to the name and I hope you feel will continue down your new path of exploration. If Soldier’s stories become a part of your new endeavor, I would love to connect again and see what creative compilation we can plan with Vizit the Troops and you! Best, Lauren

    • Pammer Says:

      Thanks, Lauren! I look forward to @smartassmama’s musings as well. 😉 Honestly? SoldiersVoice is the idea I put aside. I still love the idea of the project, but I’m not the one to tell the story. I have an idea of someone for you to talk with, though – will email you the deets!


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