I drove home late Sunday night (okay, it was early Monday morning if you wanna get technical) from my first NAAFA conference with tears in my eyes and my heart full of love and inspiration. I sincerely hope that I can convey the incredible experience I had this last weekend, I will do my best, but I admit that every time I start thinking about it again the tears well-up again, too…the good kind! (This is the first post in a few that will follow, this being the emotional one! Ha!)
What a roller coaster of emotions! Ha-ha! Seriously though, the three days I spent with some of the world’s most amazing fatties and fat allies this past weekend has me feeling so many things that I’m having a hard time bringing myself back down to reality. I just kind of want to be there in that space with those people always, but that is too far from the actual point of the conference itself. Because the point, I think anyway, is to strive and to push the fat acceptance/liberation movement further and to keep going and re-energize the activism spirit. Gosh, I seriously hope this is coming out right…
My first day there I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I sort of just went into this with my eyes wide open and hoping to learn and have fun. Mission accomplished! The very first thing I got to do (after a quick and friendly cocktail) was to watch Marilyn Wann do a tutorial on making a Yay! Scale. Yeah, how awesome is that?! And it seemed like the moment I started to say hi to one fabulous-familiar fatty another amazing person would be right there to hug and chat and love! So fabulous!!!
I got to meet so many people whom I had only known from the web. And I was humbled and overwhelmed by the love and kindness of those who knew me from this here lil’ bloggity thing. I am endlessly inspired and grateful to those who share themselves with me and I hope to continue to be even a glimmer of what they believe me to already be. I was especially moved and touched my last night there by someone who told me that mine was the first fat blog they found and bookmarked. I know what that feels like and to have someone say this to me…well…you won’t believe this, but I was truly speechless for a good ten minutes! I still choke up when I think about it. To have someone say that they can’t believe they’re meeting/hugging me? ME?! Wow!
That is pretty much how I felt all weekend. Just…WOW! Most of those in attendance had touched my life directly or indirectly through this movement and to see those faces and to hear those voices and to share a positive space with them was nothing short of magical. I made new friends and was re-united with old ones and long distance ones and to call it a love-fest would be selling it short. It was so much more than that. It was radical and inspiring and I learned so much.
I had wanted to attend for many years now and I am so grateful to have had the chance this time. I can honestly tell you that it is worth the time and the money to not only attend but to support NAAFA and all of the wonderful work that they are doing. If you’ve never heard of NAAFA or the conference, do check it out. I will admit that even I did not fully grasp all that they do until now. The 2013 conference will be in Washington D.C. so start planning for it now! 🙂