I was given the great opportunity to attend Social Fresh Nashville, a great social media conference. Seeing as social media marketing is both a professional and personal hobby for me, I was really looking forward to it. Mixing and mingling with others who shared the same interests? Awesome!
Don’t get me wrong, the conference was fantastic! It was my own personal struggles faced during it that left me frustrated at myself. While there, I found myself faced with an interesting paradox. One that actually happens a lot with me. It’s a true struggle and I feel like separate aspects of my personality are fighting with each other.
I’ve always been a classic overachiever when it comes to education and my professional life. If you called me a geek or a work-a-holic I would relish in the fact that you perceive me that way. I like to be noticed for my marketing skills and how much I try to keep on top of trends. I’ll admit that I’m a geek, and am pretty proud of it.
So meeting up with social media marketers at a great conference should have really made me excited. Instead, the other part of me reared it’s ugly (and fat) head. I don’t fit. I don’t fit the typical go-getter blogger, marketer, president of my MBA class mold. Physically I’m slow (I walk slow) and tall (5’10) and very large. Instead of going up and striking a conversation with people as my thinner self would love to do, I found myself sitting against the wall in the conference sessions, not asking questions, not trying to network and connect with these people that my geek side really wanted to meet.
On one hand, I want to meet, connect, listen to stories, and be heard. On the other, I’m cringing in my seat, scared I’m standing out too much, spilling over the seat, wondering why no one is sitting next to me (and secretly thanking them for not). My normally happy self is transformed into one who scowls, trying to make people stay away. But inside, Skinny Emmie really wants to interact!
Does anyone else ever run into this problem? I know the solution is to just “be confident and be yourself” but that is probably like telling me to put a party hat on a roadrunner- it ain’t happening… not until I’m Skinny Emmie.
ETA: Found this picture on Twitter via @paulaberg who was speaking on a panel. Blech.