A Brand New Becky?

This past weekend I was in Minneapolis, and it was just what the doctor ordered. I feel invigorated and ready to take on the world.

The purpose of the trip was to attend WordCamp Minneapolis. It was my first WordCamp, 2nd conference in Minneapolis this year, and 4th trip to Minneapolis in the past year and a half. But it was the first time I really felt comfortable being there.

I attended the MidwestPHP conference both last year and earlier this year. The conference was in downtown Minneapolis. Both times, I headed straight to the hotel and didn’t leave until the conference was over (other than to walk to the conference venue or to get food). Driving in Minneapolis … especially in downtown … scared the hell out of me. I also hid in my hotel room when the conference wasn’t going on. I was there by myself, and I’m not comfortable in situations where I don’t know anyone.

This time around, I went (to WordCamp) with a couple co-workers, so I had a safety net, so to speak. I got a chance to talk to someone that I met at the MidwestPHP conference and have chatted with on Twitter. Even though we’ve only talked briefly on a couple of occasions, I actually felt comfortable talking to him this time around (which is quite a big step for me 😀 ). He made a comment that he liked the fact that I was getting more extroverted. Now … me being extroverted is a bit of a stretch. But I do find myself being a tad bit more outgoing, outspoken (at work), and a little bit more comfortable in situations where I don’t know anyone.

The conference was great. I learned a lot and have some ideas to make our WordPress websites even better (not only the public facing side but also the admin side for the clients). But the conference wasn’t the only (or even the best) part of the weekend.

My favorite regional band, the Shane Martin Band, is from Minneapolis. They happened to have shows in the Minneapolis area both Friday and Saturday. They don’t get a chance to come to the Fargo area very often, so I wanted to take advantage of my trip and catch at least one of their shows. I made plans to go to the Saturday show and drag my co-worker with me.

I knew that we wouldn’t get to the hotel until around 6:30pm or 7pm on Friday, so I wasn’t planning on going to see them that night. But after arguing with myself and some encouragement from my co-worker, I decided to go. That’s right … I decided to leave the hotel in my car, drive to Maple Grove, and go to a bar by MYSELF to see them play. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

I was a tad bit nervous about the drive, but it turned out to be really easy to get to the bar (mostly thanks to turn-by-turn navigation on my phone). Once I got inside, my anxiety reared its ugly head. The bar was small and PACKED. I walked to the back of the bar, not seeing any place to sit. Oh shit! I headed back the way I came, stopped at the bar to get a beer (liquid courage), and then happened to notice a table on the edge of the dance floor and right up by the stage. So I snagged it. I’m really glad I went. I got to talk to the guys in the band during set break and hear them play my favorite of their original songs.

This little side trip proved 2 BIG things to me … (1) I can drive in Minneapolis, and (2) I can go to a bar by myself if I really want to (even though it’s more fun to go with friends).

Saturday night was the best part of the entire trip. My co-worker went with me (even though for a while I didn’t think she was going to). I was worried that she wouldn’t have fun since she doesn’t listen to country music, but I could tell that she had fun. She was the one who got me on the dance floor first. It was a lot less busy than Friday night, so I had more of an opportunity to talk to the guys in the band, which is something I always look forward to. 😊

Like I said at the beginning of this post, this trip was just what the doctor ordered. I haven’t been in the best of head spaces lately (for a while actually). I think getting out of town really helped. The live country music Friday and Saturday nights was long overdue. Conversations with new friends was the cherry on top. 🍒 

There’s a part of me that is sad that I’m back in Fargo rather than in Minneapolis. I need to visit again soon. Or maybe even make the visit permanent. 😉

Is this a brand new Becky? I don’t know. But whoever this is, I hope she sticks around for a while. I kinda like her. 🙂