I remember the first time I felt it. I didn't know where to put them or what to do. Do I cross them, stick them in my pockets or on my hips, or just let them hang awkwardly beside me?
I'd been carrying a baby or a toddler almost everywhere for 10 years, and for the first time that I could remember, my arms were empty. And I felt half empty too.
My children had come fast and furious . . five in 8 years. Life was a blur of diapers, naptimes, meals, stories, tears, and Legos. I can't remember why I didn't have any of the kids with me that day. I just remember being alone in a social situation and feeling absolutely odd.
That was 15 years ago. I don't feel quite so odd when I'm alone anymore. My arms have gotten used to being empty. But what I no longer carry in my arms, I still carry in my heart.
This week I'm at Allume. It's a conference for women who are committed to using their online influence for good. This is the third year I've attended, and I've made some wonderful friends here.
But as I packed and prepared to leave my family, the thought occurred to me how most of my online friends have never met my husband and children. And you can't know me without knowing my family.
So if you're new here, let me introduce you to the rest of "me" . . .
My boyfriend (& husband), Jeff
Josh & his fiancé, Kim
Daniel & Hilary (and baby!)
Emily & Ethan
Every word I write on this blog has these 10 people behind it. The doors that have opened here have been unlocked and propped open by their support and encouragement.
They have cheered me on in my passions, inspired me with their pursuits, and loved me into my dreams. They are my first and forever passion.
I love you, guys. Thank you! See you Sunday.