No guessing why I kept this challenge for almost last on the list.
By nature, I’m not a gatecrasher and the introverted author in me has enough issues attending events where I’m on the guest list.
Forget the ones where I’m not expected.
|Photo Source ~ Pinterest|
So I cheated a little on this one. I snuck in unannounced for the tail end of the Melbourne Christian Writers' Conference last weekend. Like a rude guest, I appeared at the door during the final mouthfuls of lunch, hoping that would end this difficult challenge once and for all. (And make up for not being able to attend in full, with my Beloved too absent on his overseas work trips this year.)
Did I feel nervous driving onto the dirt driveway of the conference venue? A little. I stopped to catch my racing breath at the gate. The one I was meant to storm. But not for long.
Soon enough, the Sunday drive to collect conference presenter and NZ editor/reviewer, Iola Goulton, delivered me right to the dining room doors. With all present busy at their plates, I had no choice but to enter alone and face the hungry crowd.
Yikes. I had hoped to slip into a back row somewhere. Unseen. Isn’t that how gatecrashers operate? Blend in and take their place as if they’d always been there?
Alas, I had no choice but to face my audience.
But what a wonderful reception! Good friends leapt to welcome me with warm hugs and bright eyes. Dear ones I’d not seen for a year fell into step with me, picking up conversations we’d left hanging since our last heart to heart.
Friends I only knew online stopped to say a real life hello and the gatecrasher in me clattered to an early stop. I was done. I was amongst friends who cared little about my absent rsvp and more about my presence. In the writing world we call this coming home. And I was home.
This week, I learned if you want to experience the true essence of gatecrashing, it really only works if you’re not known to the crowd. Because if they’re sweet-souled writers like the ones in my life, there’s a bear hug and chorus of welcome waiting for you the minute the gate swings shut.
Have you ever gatecrashed an event? How were you received?
Blessings for a wonderful weekend,