Tomorrow I leave for Chicago to attend and speak at the International Association for the Study of Dreams conference. This is my first time at a big conference, my first time speaking at a big conference, and my first time traveling in Chicago. I feel like the sprout in the photo above: new, fragile, and supported by those who came before me. I've spoken with several other students at JFK about their experiences presenting at this conference and their advice and encouragement has helped immensely.
I've been through all the emotions: fear, excitement, uncertainty.... Earlier in the week I felt panicky. I was having anxiety dreams and not sleeping well. So I wrote out my speech on note cards and did a trial run with Lance, and that seemed to ease the panic.
Now I've settled into excitement. I know I'm going to have a great time and learn a ton -- there are so many interesting speakers and workshops that I will probably be exhausted at the end of each day from so much learning. And the added bonus is that I get to see an old friend, Penelope, and meet Toni, a women I've known online for years. They are the icing on the cake.
Now that I'm less than 24 hours away from leaving, I see this trip for what it is: a huge opportunity for me to meet the movers and shakers in the dream world and a chance for me to show my stuff. I know in my gut there is something special in store for me at this conference and I am dying to find out what it is.
I'll be back with reports and photos next week. Wish me luck!