Debriefing RWA16

No joke: going to RWA is a huge investment. Last year, the conference was held in one of the most expensive travel destinations in America—I still cringe when I think about how much I spent. (For journalistic integrity, I thought about doing the actual math on how much #RWA15 outlay was. However, as someone who did not share a room and only got a so-so deal on a flight to NYC, I’d rather not.) Fuhgeddaboudit.

But I know you already know all about the financial costs. I took an informal poll of those who were not planning to attend, and the number one response to the question “why aren’t you going to Nationals” was resoundingly “the money.” (Anecdotally, everybody at Nationals pulled a face and made grumbling noises about the cost, too.) There are the other costs, too: time off from day jobs, leaving family unattended for days, and travel/large crowd phobias. 

Each year, I tell myself, “Lexi, save your money and skip Nationals next year.” And each year, the promise of education, networking, and fellowship (and this year, potential Navy SEAL sightings!) lures me back in and I sign away a good chunk of change and a week of my summer because the benefits of attending the conference are, though largely intangible, enormous. 

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2014 #TheYearToBe___ Wraps Up

It’s not the end of the year quite yet. I know. But, considering the eleven weeks of gaping silence on my #TheYearToBe___ posts, I figured you wouldn’t mind so much. (For those of you playing along at home, we missed: meditative, neat, optimistic, productive, quiet, resourceful, strong, thoughtful, upbeat, versatile, well-read, xenophilic, yummy, and zealous. Actually, there’s still time for the XYZ. So scratch off and win!)

I’m not ready to goal-set for 2015 yet—or at least I am not ready to voice those goals out loud. But I can tell you I shan’t be setting myself up for failure! Because that’s what 2014 really seems like to me: a year to totally write off as an utter failure.

What happened? Where did it go? What happened to all of my best laid plans? And no, #TheYearToBe___ blogging schedule isn’t all I’m talking about here. But it is part of the larger whole.  2014: The Lost Year.

But in the midst of all those items I want to take a big rubber FAIL stamp to, I can see moments of beauty. Of joy. Of success. Of happiness. Of life.

Maybe I am ready to announce some goals for 2015: ignore the noise and seek beauty.