I returned from #DENSI2014 in Nashville Friday night after a day full of driving in the rain. Not my favorite way to drive but none the less, it was time to get home. Prior to arriving at #DENSI2014 I was a little fearful of my aversion to large groups, close quarters, 6 women sharing 1 shower, and having to be “on” all the time. Yes, I am an introvert but an introvert that can drip her toes in to the extrovert world at times. I kept telling myself it would be fine.
When I officially checked in to the Carmichael dorm I was all ready overwhelmed with all of the people and the noise. People were hugging, laughing, and greeting one another. I unloaded my car at the stairs by the door and then parked. When I came back to the door Mark Case, whom I had never met was all ready lifting my heavy luggage up the stairs to the dorm. At that moment I thought, it’s going to be ok.
Throughout the week I was exposed to some amazing sessions planned and unplanned. My favorite keynote was Lodge McCammon. He never ceases to amaze me. I really enjoyed Conni Mulligan‘s session on creating shadow puppets with old overhead projectors. It gave me so many ideas for not only work but play. Tim Childers session on teaching with one image resinated the word focus for me. I managed to make it to #SitDen (AKA meet at Starbucks and chat at 6am while others were exercising at #FitDEN) a few times. I learned there too. Kathy Schrock showed me explee.com. It’s a cool image animator.
As the week progressed, I decided to let a little of myself show. I brought my photo booth mustaches and started taking photos of people using them. I would walk up to people and say, “I ‘must-ache’ you a question, may I take your picture?” It was a great way to just talk to people I didn’t know for a moment. This led to “my thing” at DEN. Someone suggested I do something for WDEN our morning news show. When I was looking at the photos later that night I thought…BAZINGA! I will interview people and they will have to answer with the mustache! This was great for my introverted self. I would meet even more people because I was working on a project. So I spent Wednesday interviewing people in between sessions and editing video. I submitted my video to WDEN and they played it Thursday morning. Here is a little look if you want to watch it. I have more footage and plan on creating a few more episodes. Hopefully time will not get away from me.
Being an introvert, another worry of mine was finding time to recharge in silence. I was worried I wouldn’t ever be alone. Not that I wanted to be antisocial… I just need to recharge. I probably missed out on a few fun things but I did find some quiet space on the patio outside the dorm. It was a great place to sit feel the cool breeze.
I would like to thank the DEN for letting me be me all week. I was able to learn the way I liked to learn. I wasn’t pressured to be part of the crowd. I was given space when I needed it. The conversations I had were amazing and I met some wonderful people. The conversations were invigorating. The DEN Love was palpable. My twitter and Facebook feeds are filled with their knowledge and friendship. Thank you, so much for this experience.
After the week, I have to admit seeing this post on twitter made me feel a little better about my introverted-ness. It reminded me we are everywhere!
Oh, and by the way, if #DENSI2015 will have me back… watch out, I’ll be out of my shell. 🙂