Those of you who know about my campaign know that I am incredibly eager to win my spot to The Gathering 2020. If you don’t know what The Gathering is or what this series is about check out these blog posts.
You may be wondering why I am working so hard, stressing out and taking on this challenge and I’m here to explain.
It’s an Opportunity I’ve Never Had
When I was growing up in the blackhole that is Smiths Falls, Ontario I was poor. Like really poor. Like my mom had four jobs at once poor. I never had grand opportunities to travel or learn or take big risks. The farthest I traveled as a kid was to my grandparents’ house is Quebec. When I was offered opportunities a lot of the time, I had to turn it down, either because I couldn’t afford it or because I didn’t have the resources. My stupid brain and I ended up creating this really toxic mindset of “You don’t deserve it” I know now that that’s a load of shit, but it can still be hard to shake.
Now this isn’t meant to be some sob story about my less than ideal childhood, I’m lucky I had what I had but it has shaped a lot of my goals. An opportunity like this is something the Poor Sierra was waiting her whole life for. Well I’m still technically poor but now I know I have opportunities out there for me and I’m not willing to give them up.
It’s a Unique and Irreplaceable Learning Experience
This is my main reason for wanting to go. I know the experience and everything that I learn there will make a lasting impact on me in many ways.
The chance to learn about branding from some of the best in the world is amazing in ways I don’t even know how to explain. The process of creating a lasting brand is complicated but invigorating at the same time. It’s almost like writing a story. You must consider aesthetic and tone and messaging and themes. It has a place for designers and story tellers and managers. It’s a perfect combination of creativity and logistics. Clearly, it’s something I am very passionate about so to learn from some of the top brands would be amazing.
What I would learn about branding isn’t the only learning experience waiting for me. This overall is a networking experience and that is horrible for me. I have crippling social anxiety and networking is your girl’s worst nightmare. So, I really want to go! After living with anxiety for twenty years of my nineteen-year life I have learned a few things about how to handle it. One thing I learned is that my anxiety is actually a superpower, you can learn more abut that in this post.
The most important thing I have learned about handling my anxiety is that the biggest challenges reap the greatest rewards. I am not a baby steps learner and I have achieved the most growth after taking the biggest steps. So, I know that an opportunity like The Gathering, although scary will help me grow so much. As I explain in this post the scariest opportunities are the ones worth taking.
I want to help
I know this reason sounds cheesy but its true and I think this experience could give me the resources to do so. The volunteering aspect would have my fellow classmates and I helping at the conference. We’ll be signing people in, showing people where to go and just generally helping. I have a bunch of experience working events and I love it so being able to volunteer at an event of this scale would be incredibly rewarding. I also know that if I got the opportunity to go, I take in as much knowledge as I could and share my experience with my fellow classmates who didn’t attend.
For these reasons and so many more I want to attend The Gathering. It’s an opportunity I’ve waited a long time for and I know now that it’s something I deserve to experience. Are there any opportunities you really want or have experienced? Let me know in the comments.
*Just to let you know I got to go to the Gathering!