I have been dreaming of doing an in-person meetup for a long time. I am a people person to the core, so getting a chance to meet some of the people who follow me on this little space of the internet gave me so much excitement. I have this little corner of the internet for YOU and getting a chance to have my friends, my followers, and people who I’ve never met before was a dream. All of my favorite people in one room, hanging out, getting to know one another, and becoming friends themselves.
Another reason I wanted to do this is that as an adult I have learned how extremely difficult it is to make friends. Everyone is busy. Everyone seems to not have enough money to do the fun stuff anymore. Some people have kids and responsibilities. Everyone would rather go home after work than get dinner. The list goes on and on…it’s hard to make friends and this has been part of my own story. So I wanted to bring people together to create a sense of community among us, even if the only commonality was me at the beginning. That was my heart behind doing a meetup.
During the weeks leading up to it, I worked everything out. I reserved a room at a local coffee shop. I confirmed everything with the owner. I reached out to everyone I knew that had an interest when I originally shared about it. I posted about it every day for 2 weeks leading up to the event. Out of that effort, I had 15-20 people who had RSVP’d that they would be there. I was pumped! That blew my expectations out of the water. I woke up Thursday morning SO excited and couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. Partially why I couldn’t stop thinking about it is because about every 30 minutes someone would reach out to cancel. I’m not even joking. It was like the world stopped and all of a sudden everyone had something come up and couldn’t come anymore. By the time the event started I had 3 people who hadn’t canceled on me (but only 2 showed up), I had to cancel my room reservation because we could fit at a normal table and I wanted my money back, and I had to change the time because they were originally going to have to pay staff to stay later for our event.
I was honestly SO embarrassed and felt like a total failure. All day I kept getting more and more nervous and anxious about the event. I sat alone in the coffee shop for about 30 minutes before anyone arrived. But to my surprise, it was still fun. We drank coffee together. Two of my friends in real life had a chance to meet one another. We bonded over being “newlyweds” and our love for coffee. We laughed. We shared stories. It actually went really well and I left so thankful for their friendship. I also left with a change of perspective. I wanted to share this story with you to set up the scene for me to share with you what I learned from what others would call a failed attempt at a meetup.
Everyone has an influence, no matter how small.
If you have 1 follower on Instagram, a sibling, a friend, or anyone that you come into contact with ever – you have an influence. This meetup reminded me that influence doesn’t mean 10,000 followers or having 30 people show up at an event. Influence literally means “a person or thing with the capacity or power to have an effect on someone or something.” We all have the power to have an effect on someone or something around us. You have an influence even if it’s small, what are you doing with it? Find the places where you have influence and invest in them. Seek out the people who influence you and thank them. We have the option to influence negatively or positively and you get to decide for yourself.
Not only do you have influence over the people around you, but you also have influence over yourself.
Your words and thoughts to and about yourself have the power to have an effect on you as well. How are you influencing yourself? The hours leading up to the meetup, I was constantly speaking negativity and failure over myself. I was questioning why I thought it would be different and beating myself up over people canceling last minute because to me that meant they didn’t care about me. I let myself go there and I allowed myself to only focus on the outcome that didn’t happen instead of focusing on what did.
By the end of the event, my love tank was so full. Quality time and words of affirmation are my love languages and they were filled up that night. I got to spend uninterrupted time over coffee with two of my dear friends. They encouraged me, supported me, and loved me through my mess. I was so insecure that night and they met me there. I am so grateful for friendships that matter and people who are going to show up for me despite it being uncomfortable. They knew that it was just going to be them there that night and they came anyway.
True friendship is showing up even when it’s uncomfortable.
This night not only filled up my love tank but it inspired me to challenge myself on how uncomfortable I have or have not been willing to be for my friends. I want to be the friend that goes to wherever, whenever I can to support the people I love. This event challenged my idea of a friend and what it truly means to show up for someone. They showed up for me in a way that was so simple but meant so much. What boundaries and limitations have you been putting on yourself when it comes to showing up for the people in your life? How can you challenge yourself to grow in this area?
Overall, I wouldn’t change a thing about this meetup. I learned life lessons, spent quality time with my friends, and learned what not to do next time. If you have something you’ve been dreaming of doing, do it. You may fail, but you will learn from it. You may succeed, and you can grow from it. But don’t be your biggest obstacle because you deserve to show up for yourself in big ways. I hope this encouraged you and challenge you to check your influence and to take notice of the things that matter in your world.
Location: Sip Stir Coffee House