I met Jamie Tworkowski tonight. I can’t even begin to explain what these past few days have brought to my life. But I can try…
Last week I began counting down the minutes to the first ever TWLOHA UChapter Summer Conference. I could not wait to go. Before I knew it, it was Monday night, I packed everything I had to, threw it in the corner and started twiddling my thumbs in anticipation for my departure. It was the longest case of the Mondays ever. Suddenly it was Tuesday morning and I was running around my house like I was going to leave that day. I might as well have been based on the way I was sprinting for no reason and doing things to pass the time. I remember the first thing I did when I woke up that morning was tweet:
(Seriously, I think I tweeted about a thousand times more after that.) Anyway. I rolled over and sat up on my bed and put my glasses on and went about my day. A few hours later, I got an email saying I had a direct message on twitter. I thought it was another spam thing, but it turns out TWLOHA itself messaged me:
I knew then and there that this conference was going to be amazing.
I went about my day like it was nothing and suddenly it was time to go to bed. The next time I would be conscious, I’d be heading to the airport to hop my flight to Atlanta. Of course, that doesn’t sound so glorious being that the final stop was Florida, but it did have its perks. This trip was the first time I have ever flown alone and I was scared I was going to miss my connecting flight. I literally had 20 minutes to run across the terminal, to another building, and on the other side of the airport. I was sure I had it…until the lady doing the boarding called me up there. I thought I did something wrong. Nope. She decided to move my seat to a better location. Then when I asked about that pain in the ass connecting flight, she moved it again to an even better spot. Needless to say, I made it to ATL then to MLB no problem.
Wednesday was mostly spent stocking up on food for the room and lunch breaks and sleeping on the beach.
Come Thursday, things began to get intense. We started our MOVE sessions. Around 7 that night, watched a screening of Renee. That had to be the most emotion-filled movie I have ever witnessed and I am so glad that David McKenna brought that experience to us and allowed us to speak to him and the Renee Warped Tour team afterwards.
(Also, though a bit out of order, David tweeted at us today. So. Yeah…)
Anyway. On Friday we finished up with MOVE and learned more and more about the serious side of mental health issues and even went through QPR training. It was really intense and some of it was tough to hear. But I kept tweeting and loving every second of what was going on around me. Mid-session, I got an email from twitter saying I had another direct message. Of course, it was TWLOHA again:
I’m now a certified QPR Gatekeeper and things are absolutely looking up for me.
After all of the heavy things were taken care of, Sharon, Corrine and I took care of the light. We spent the afternoon in the pool and hot tub in the pouring rain, ordering and devouring pizza, then hitting the pool again at night. It was wonderful.
So today is Saturday. Today…it was sunny. And hot. And full of ridiculous adventures. I went surfing. I did so well. I had balance I didn’t know existed.
I tanned. I got new TWLOHA shirts. I have bracelets I’ll cherish forever. And I went to a reception dinner thrown by the UChapters staff to say thank you for all we’ve done. And Jamie was there. (He caught the bug…)
See, I’m going to miss the keynote tomorrow and it sucks. I really wanted to hear Jamie speak. I tried to move around my flight and see what could be done. But nothing could without spending $150 and having someone drive to EWR to get me past midnight. So I sucked it up and decided to go through the conference knowing I wouldn’t be able to meet Jamie. But I ended up meeting and speaking with Jamie for quite a bit and even got him to sign his page in our complimentary copies of “What Do You Want To Do Before You Die” by The Buried Life.
We did our own Fears vs. Dreams shoots and hopefully those will be up on the site sometime soon. We mingled, we shared random thoughts and ideas and stories. We enjoyed ourselves.
To Write Love on Her Arms has done so much for me and my friends that this weekend that it was life changing. I cannot wait to start our University Chapter at GW after this registration process. I cannot wait to share all these things with people in our community in the DC area. I cannot wait to make a difference. Should I only make a difference in one person’s life with this organization, then so be it. But it will be a personal success if one person is affected even in the slightest bit. One person’s life is just as precious as thousands of lives put together. Everyone needs to know that.
Tomorrow is the last day of the very first TWLOHA Summer Conference. And I can bet it’s going to be just as amazing as the rest of the days. I can’t wait to go out with a bang. I’m gonna get up before dawn and watch that sun come up. I have to do it. I’m going to do it.
To my TWLOHA family here on tumblr that can see this because of our awesome hashtag, I just wanted to say thank you for this week. Thank you for believing in this and in us. There’s just so much respect for you all. I love you guys. :)