Put down the Spanx, everyone.
Take a deep breath.
I want to tell you something, before we all end up in some city-we’re-not-from, all in crowds and heaps and groups, not knowing which end is up.
Because that’s what it’s like sometimes, when so many of us are together; too much push-pull-worry-fret. Too much of the crazy, the second-guessing, the shifting and adjusting of clothing and personalities and the little quirks in both that we worry someone might see.
It would be easy to bring too much to an event like this, easy to pack shirtsandpantsandshoes and stressandanxietyandnerves all into the same bag, and the airlines don’t even let you carry that shit on anymore.
And nor should you carry it on…or anywhere.
You want to know what to bring?
First, here’s what not to bring.
Unpack your cares. Unpack any feelings of less-than and what-if and I-don’t-belong.
Because you do belong. Anyone can, why not you?
Yes, it is that easy.
You, with the wrong clothes. You, with the wrong shoes.
You, with all your awkwardness, your silly antics, your snort-when-you-laugh…you belong.
You belong, because if you don’t, then there’s no room for that other girl across from you, who almost backed out last minute. No room for the one whose hair appointment got cancelled. There’s no room for the one who might have her shirt on inside out, the one whose shoes are killing her and who will spend all weekend barefoot and sheepish but happy. No room for all the women who totally intended to lose twenty pounds or ten or something that just might help them get on the plane feeling good. Or the one whose suitcase ended up in San Remo, not San Diego and who the hell knows where San Remo is anyway? Or the one who isn’t brave enough to say hi to anyone but might be the most interesting person in the room if someone would just. ask. her.
Don’t bring anything that isn’t going to make this time away an awesome experience. You have an opportunity, right in your hand, and if you don’t get your head out of your clouds, your worries, your insecurities, your ass, you might just miss it.
Take anything out of that suitcase that you know will weigh you down.
When it comes right down to it, it’s not about the black or the pink top, the wedges or heels, or is-this-print-too-busy? It’s just not. It’s not about wearing something you don’t love just to try to be who you think you are supposed to be to belong. It’s not about dressing better than everyone else, or how many labels you can cram in your suitcase.
Here’s the thing. If you are amazing, and we connect, I’m not going to know that you agonized over what you wore. I won’t know you tried on twelve tops before finally choosing the right one. I won’t know you nearly cried trying to figure out what to bring.
Don’t bring tears in that bag, ladies.
Before you pack a single thing, think carefully about what your experience could be like, with a little guts and a little effort.
Let’s be crowds and heaps and groups of women all ready to share something amazing.
Let’s have the guts to be real and beautiful, just as we are. Let’s pack only what we love, and feel great in, and leave plenty of room for what’s really important.
Repeat after me: Perfection doesn’t fit in a suitcase, and there are no scales at the hotel.
What should you really bring?
Bring excitement. Bring joy. Bring curiosity.
Bring questions. Bring laughter. Bring connection.
Bring an open mind and a happy heart.
Bring your goddamn best version of yourself, freely share it with others and watch what can happen when you decide to own your happiness. When you decide you really do belong, and have things to say and that you really do have worth.
Yeah. That’s the kind of stuff you should bring to a conference.
What are you bringing?