#140ConfOnt - You blew my mind.
I laughed, I cried, I fulfilled my dream of one day skipping out of a building with the Kitestring team.
I also will never be the same.
I had the privilege of speaking at the Ontario 140 conference in Kitchener yesterday. For 10 minutes. For 10 minutes they said - you own that stage. "You will be great!" "You will rock!" -- I was more worried about throwing up on some ones shoes.
For 10 minutes I told my story. Not the whole story, not even a fraction of my story, but I told the part that mattered in that moment. I'll be honest, I have NO idea what I said. Something about Oprah and pillows I'm told, makes sense, sounds like something I would do. What I said truly wasn't as important as what happened when I walked off that stage.
I fell in love.
I walked off the stage into a sea of open arms ready to hold me and tell me I was amazing and strong and brave. That I was funny and heart-warming. That I was ok. I managed to hold it together on stage, but off stage the release of this weight from my shoulders was followed by many many tears.
I went outside, I took deep breaths, I looked back at the hundreds of people who had just held my hand through something so hard and I fell in love with each and every single one of them. I fell in love with the human race again. My switch was flicked and I saw the world not as something I was going to be battling against forever, but as something I would be battling for.
I was ready to take on the world in that moment.
Walking back into the conference my phone was vibrating almost non-stop. I had to turn off the vibration because it was so distracting. My twitter timeline was blowing up. People at the conference, people at home, in offices, in parks were tweeting about me. I can only assume that this is the social media equivalent of a rockstar having their name chanted at a concert. I couldn't keep up, hell twitter couldn't keep up.
Then I saw it... "KarmicEvolution is top trending now in Canada."
I turned to Laurel Crossley and handed her my phone. Then... its a blur of tears and sobs and hugs. I sent that phone all over the damn conference. Shock, glee, amazement - 11 am I started dreaming and apparently wasn't waking up any time soon. To quote the Record "Immediately following her 10-minute talk she was trending higher than pop sensation Justin Bieber on Twitter".
Can we take a minute and just digest how HUGE that is?!
Justin Goddamn Fucking Bieber!
Wandering in a teary daze around the lobby of the conference, I was super thankful for Jeff Pulvers hug policy. The hugs and love and positivity were coming in fast and furious. People I look up to like Jeff Pulver and Alexandria Durrell and Craig and Wendy Silva were using words like "proud" and "rockstar" and I was in a fog of joy and disbelief.
Then I had another moment of realisation... Jeff Pulver - this icon of social media. A man with brilliance and inspiration to spare - cared. He wasn't just a figure head. He wasn't someone to be intimidated by. He was a guy who genuinely loved watching people succeed and be inspired. Money, fame, position meant nothing, he was one of us. We were all just people. In a room full of entrepreneurs, home makers, business people, dads, sisters, uncles, wives... we had more in common then we knew. Status meant nothing. We were there to just be, we had actually entered the state of now.
I also realised I wanted to work for Jeff Pulver and feel what he gets to feel every day. I actually may have wanted to BE Jeff Pulver but I was willing to settle for living vicariously through him.
Which leads me to McCabes. Most of McCabes was a blur too. The people, the food, the lights, the booze. The whole room was radiating light and for once I felt completely comfortable standing in this crowd. After all, we were just people.
Standing outside with Jacki Yovanoff and Chris Farias, two of my closest friends, someone must have dropped some magic dust. Jeff walks out with Stephanie Montreuil and I say something along the lines of "I think my new dream is to work for you Jeff". As my friends are pimping me as the perfect employee, it happened.
I can't even remember at this point what was said, how it was said, or if I stayed upright.
And now my big news.
I will be speaking at the 140 Conference in New York in June.
Little Ol' 10th grade educated, unemployed, solo mom me.
I think my name is Jodi, but honestly I also think I'm still asleep.
To see the record article click here.
To see the stream of the conference (I am at roughly minute 21) click here.
And please take the time to watch the other amazing speakers! Especially my friends Chris Farias and the Kitestring Crew, Craig Silva, Heather Hamilton, Laurel Crossley, Chris Eh Young, Alexandria Durrell, Taylor Jones, Dee Brun and of course Jeff Pulver.