Imagine a room filled with killer photo booth set-ups, antique velvet couches paired with midcentury side tables, lush green plants, bagels, coffee, little candy sweets in jars and, of course, 300 creative women ready to dream, scheme and achieve with YOU.
This is no dream world. This, my friends, is the Yellow Conference in LA.
It's a bit of a convaluded story on how I found out about Yellow in the first place, but to keep things short, I'll summarize - a friend told me about it.
After browsing Yellow's site, I was sold.
I announced to my husband that I was definitely going [ok, not really...in all actuality, we analyzed schedules and made sure we could afford it and then we decided I was going. I like making myself sound more fierce than I really am].
I joined the Yellow Conference Facebook group for attendees, found three gals who'd like to share an AirBNB, and I was ready to jet set.
Truthfilly, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew I'd probably be super inspired, but to what extent, I couldn't say. It seems funny now, but I was worried about showing up pregnant, which is a really silly concern.
Going in, I knew I was the oldest of my roomies by at least 3 years and I figured I was probably one of the few women cooking her second bun. In the end it made no difference [surprise, surprise] and of course, there were a handful other pregnant mamas in attendance too.
The speakers and their presentations rendered me speechless. Truly, I have no idea what to say about them other than I was astonished by each person's path to "success" [it has different meanings for different people].
Unconventionality and nontraditional routes seemed to thread through many of the presentations. I appreciated hearing this pattern over and over as I have often struggled with the desire to be legit, but not feeling legit.
I thought, "Oh, to know design, you have to go to design school. To be a great photographer, you have to have majored in photography". Nope, not in the slightest.
All it really takes is perseverance, hard work and the uncanny ability to listen to your gut. Once you've been out of school for a few years, people no longer care what you studied in college.
They only care about the work you produce now and the ethic of which you work. Maybe most people already know this by 31, but I didn't - or at least I didn't fully believe it. I sure as hell do now though!
While in attendance, I took six full pages of notes. For most of the presenters, my hand couldn't keep up with all the goodness my brain and heart wanted to transcribe. And then there were a select few whose life stories were so riveting, I could hardly breathe, much less take notes.
One speaker in particular, Ruthie Lindsey, the famed brand and photo stylist and designer, had the room on the edge of their seats.
She spoke of living with daily chronic pain, loss of loved ones and a personal [and fierce] willingness to shift her perspective of the world to see the beauty and the good.
At one point she stated that "she didn't know she was creative..." and my immediate thought was, "You too!?!?". In fact, I literally wrote that my note pad directly under her quote.
I felt like, phew, ok - I can rest easy now knowing that it's ok that I never identified myself a creative person until turning thirty. Because until I heard her say that? I pretty much thought I was just an intrapersonal idiot and the only one in the entire world to boot.
But that's not really fair to do to myself, is it? We should never hate on ourselves for learning about ourselves too late. We should be proud that we're growing and developing. I hope I'm still learning about myself at age 94 [I plan to live until 102].
And the brainstorming!
Have I mentioned the brainstorming yet??? It was killer. It felt like I had died and gone to creative heaven and then ate a bunch of mind-expanding brainstorming 'shrooms with 300 of my closest friends.
You would be talking in a small group having an already stellar brainstorming sesh, and then someone would pass by, hear your convo and come in with an extension idea and you're just so grateful for their perspective. Then their idea suddenly throws you into a tangent of thought you would have never considered before. It was fantastic.
The community, the support from the women at Yellow - I've never felt so much female strength and love. Truly, a rising tide lifts all boats.
You may notice that these are not my usual style of photos for a post. I didn't end up taking my big camera into the conference because it would have just been too intrusive, but I did get a ton of iPhone shots.
I think these photos tell a better story of Yellow than I could have ever done with my big camera. For more photos of the event, check out #bloomyellow.
In conclusion, if this conference even remotely sounds awesome to you, YOU NEED TO GO. Seriously, tickets will be on sale for 2016 soon.
I'll save you a seat.
This post appeared first on Everyday Enthusiastic. All ideas in this post are of my own opinions including any mention of companies and/or affiliate sites. No sponsorships were involved in the creation of this post. Photographs taken by Meredith Wheeler using an iPhone 5.