Melanie Jeanne

Better in Real Life



Have you ever had one of those moments where real life is better than your fairy tale? Where the real thing far surpasses anything you could have imagined? Have you ever met a celebrity that blew you away with their authenticity? Have you ever had a moment with your dear friends that will forever be stamped on your heart?

We did, we experienced all of those things in one simple evening this past January in Austin. Now, I cannot speak for my dear friends, so I will only share my “better in real life” experience.

The setting; MomCom 2014 Austin, TX. The speakers; a few incredible women that not only have crafted a life of inspiration, they did all of that while being “mom”. Our peers: nearly 100 women from Austin who shared in our desire to grow as individuals and moms. The night: Friday, February 24th.

That’s all that you didn’t really need to know. But, here is what you do need to know. Simply, when we work together, when mom’s come together to share their stories, the inspiration that flows is incredible. Friday night we were blessed to see three beautiful moms speak; Melinda Garvey, Yasmin Diallo Turk & Glennon Doyle Melton.

My dear friends B & L and I chose to attend MomCom to see Glennon speak. We read her blog. We read her book. We share with each other when inspiration strikes or a particularly inspirational post is posted. And we just knew, deep within, based on that spiritual connection, that we have to be at MomCom to hear her speak. What a treat and blessing to hear beautiful stories of life, chance, opportunity and courage from two other incredible women/moms.

Melinda shared her story of chance and courage. She shared her journey to finding her true passion. The ups and downs, the chances and changes and the lasting tenacity it took to get to today. Her message was simple, in fear we find our courage and strength, so we must harness the fear as that is where the great happens. Fear is that exciting place in our tummies where great things are born. Maybe we accomplish so much more than we were ever destined to simply out of fear, but whatever the cause, never run from fear, face it. I loved her communication, as women, we have those gut instincts that send the all too loud and resounding message of nerves and excitement when fear is present. The next time I face that fear, her message will be ringing loud in my ear. Face it, fore greatness follows.

Yasmin shared the journey of passion. Her story was one of reading the signs the universe presents you, literally and figuratively. She had one of those ah-ha moments in her life, when she read a sign that pushed her in her future direction. And through that sign she found her passion. This was a story of never giving up your passion based on your children. Never walking away from the life you want to live based on your current situation. Never, give up yourself at the cost of others. This “never give up” mantra provided a path in which she is now living her life’s mission through HOPE for Senegal. ┬áHer story reminded me of two very important things: 1. Never give up on yourself & 2. As a mom, your kids can be involved in your passions and life at every level, to them it is education and opportunity, to you it is passion and dreams.

And then there was Glennon. Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery. The reason we were there, the reason for our bubbly excitement and a spiritual beacon in our lives. The first thing I told J upon my return was how incredible she was as a communicator. I have read her words daily for two years now and every time I read I heard her voice. On this evening, when I actually heard her voice, it was the same voice. Sure it sounded a bit different, but the tone and inflection, the excitement and enthusiasm. She is who she is in person and on her blog. Yes, our first encounter that evening was a little wave and smile, then a run-in in the ladies room, but who cares how the conversation started, we met Glennon. Then she took the stage and she was incredible. Her message was we cannot be all things to all people. Well, really, she had five message. Five questions she is asked regularly. And she took the time to share answers through her story with us that evening. I wish I had recorded her speaking. Really I do, because the words are lost on me now, but that night, they hit every mom chord within me. I remember a story about her kids and my little ponies and I was laughing so hard. And I remember a talk about shoes and living up to the expectations we feel others have of us and about avocados. And I remember that her book shared the same message and I remember that she was eloquent and brutifully honest. Then it was over and we had an opportunity to go on a wine walk, to take our Carry On Warrior books and meet Glennon in person, for real, not by chance in a bathroom.

I remember my girls and I bubbling over with excitement, walking and giggling all the way to the store where Glennon was located. We walked in and in a simple moment we were lost in her celebrity. I could not find words to share, I could not find something eloquent to tell her about how her message has impacted me so positively. I could not tell her that I wished I was half the communicator she was. I clammed up. I told her I read her blog daily (stalker much?) and that I knew she was referencing another one of my favorite blogs in one of her stories (Enjoying the Small Things). I told her I was a mom blogger too and we exchanged information, my blog address, her email. Just like that it was over and we were on our way.

Well, sort of on our way, we totally forgot to take a group picture with her, so while we had all individually posed and gotten our books signed, we failed to stand together as warriors and pose. Of course the three of us walked back and stood in line and got our warrior photo before heading to dinner.

I cannot speak for my girls, I suppose I could as we shared excitement all night and gushed about our individual interactions as well as our shared experiences, but I won’t. That is their story to tell. For me I know this, sharing a moment with someone who has impacted my views so incredibly, taking a moment to speak with a woman who I want to be just like, hearing her story in person as a real person and finding inspiration in an evening with my dearest friends… Incredible.

I am inspired to chase my passions. I am inspired to become a better writer/blogger. I am inspired to find a cause and chase a dream. I am inspired to be a mom. I am inspired by my friendships. I am inspired and so very blessed. And to think… Glennon is so much better in real life, that gives me hope.

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