If You Build It, They Will Come: Misfit Conf 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013

And then all of a sudden, I found myself surrounded by my people.

As a woman who often works in reverse, goes to a beat to different drum, paves her own path, and whatever else I've been told, it is a beautiful and rare time when I feel like I truly belong. When I was with the speakers and attendees of the Misfit Conf a few weeks ago, I felt home.

I would say that my journey to end up at that conference started way before I met the creators, AJ and Melissa Leon.

For those that know me and read this blog, you know that I've been on quite the journey as of late. A year ago right now I was a bit jolted, confused, and didn't have a clue of what I wanted or who I wanted to be. I was in survival mode. But one day, while I was still living in Utah, I had an epiphany while brushing my teeth, of all things. I got my first clear vision of what I wanted to do with my life and the steps I would have to do get there. The clouds of confusion finally started to part just a crack.

Within weeks of this vision; I sold all my stuff, closed up my life in Utah, and moved back home to Fargo to save money and put my plan into action. Things were movin' and groovin' for 'ol Randi.

And then I got distracted. Moving back to Fargo was a transition. I hadn't lived here in 7 years and never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever move back. No offense, Fargo. But I had to figure some logistics out. Job, social life, living situations, etc. But leave it to this wonderful town, all of that came pretty easily.

Before I knew it, I had my own apartment downtown (living on my own for the first time ever!), a full-time salaried job with benefits (for the first time ever!) that I enjoyed, started playing music regularly around town, connected with old friends, and made some lovely new friends.

As thankful as I am for my life here, a little voice recently started itching at me again, reminding me of my vision. Reminding me that though my current job was what I needed and will need for a little bit longer, it's time to start creating your the life you know you are meant to live. It's time to start building.

Two weeks or so before I serendipitously met AJ and Melissa, this little voice turned into a yell. It started yelling because my logic and fears were shutting it up. "But you have this great job that could be a solid career, you have too much debt to run your own business, be safe, there are too many details to figure out for it to actually happen, no one else around you lives like you want to- what makes you so special?"

But I kept doing my best to move forward. Building tiny brick by tiny brick. I couldn't ignore that voice anymore. I had so many ideas mixed with fears floating around in my head; I didn't know how exactly it was all going to go down. Then, I met the Misfits.

With AJ and Melissa
I had never heard of them. I had never seen their faces. I had no idea what they were doing in my humble town and why they were going to bring 60+ people here from all over the world. But they seemed familiar, Melissa especially for some reason. Even just from seeing them from across the room at an event downtown.

Through a series of events, they were told that I played music and wanted me to play at the closing party. Without even having to think, I agreed. I wanted in, and I wanted in bad. I didn't even know what they were about, but I just knew I had to be there. I prayed they would let me sit in on the conference, but I was too nervous to ask if I could come to their sold out event.

But generously, and with open arms, they offered a swap. My music for access to the conference. I almost cried out of excitement.

Just some of the lovely conf details.
One by one the misfit crew showed up. Each one inspiring, with their own story, a light. I could go on and on about the jammed packed, life changing goodness each speaker brought. I could talk about the exquisite details in the food, decor, name tags even, that created a magical space for it all. I could talk about the connections made that will forever imprint my life and lead to more good times to come.

But the bottom line is that it changed me. Shifted me. Inspired and encouraged me. Gave me some tools, a blue print, to build my vision into reality.

I got a chance to sit and talk with Melissa for a little while. We exchanged stories. We connected. I told her about my past year and how I feel like I was just meant to be at this conference and what I'm planning for myself. She said, "Well, once you set your intentions, that's when things start falling into place." I smiled and responded with, "I already set my intentions, and that's why I'm here tonight."

I'm learning that there is something magical about action. About starting to build, even if you are freaked out and have no idea what the outcome will be. Even if your end result ends up totally different than you originally thought, which is commonly the case. You would have never gotten there if you didn't act first. If you would have just kept sitting around and waiting to know exactly how it's all going to go down.

I got to experience the Misfit Conf because I started to build. The universe started turning it's cogs and aligned me up with not only the biggest sign that I was on the right path, but it connected me with people that taught me and inspired me. They even came to my hometown. To my neighborhood.

And the Misfit Conf was just the beginning.

What is this vision I have, you are wondering? What is the grand plan? Well, it will unfold shortly. Don't worry, you'll hear all about it. Brick by brick.

For more details of the conference and who the Misfits are, read this and this.

Love Letters: Devin

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A few months ago I came across the blog of a delightful woman that has a section that features her love letters. They are love letters to people, places, things, and she invites everyone to write more love letters. I've decided to accept that invitation.

And since it is the birthday of Mr. Devin Felix, I have decided to devote my first love letter to this kind sir.

Dearest Devin,

You began as the brother of the boy I had a crush on. After a series of my persistent and uninvited phone calls, I wiggled my way into your life. Through the years you have gone from someone's brother to dear friend to my brother to one the best friends I have ever known.

Though we talk almost everyday, and I express my love for you on the regular, I want to truly acknowledge and celebrate who you are to me and those that know you.

A photo from the first day we hung out.
This pretty sums it all up.
No one makes me laugh like you do. Seriously. And you not only continue to crack me up, but you appreciate my humor. I don't know if you realize this, but you were one of my first friends to uplift and encourage my funny side and not try to out do me or have to be the only funny one in the room. You included me in writing weird and funny movies and songs. You loved my ideas and encouraged me to keep going. That will always mean more to me than you know.

You bring out my weird in the best possible way. If I published all of our conversations, the world would be a very confused place. But they work for us. They brighten my day. They make me feel normal.

You have held me in my darkest times. Be in person or otherwise, you have seen me at my worst and loved me anyway. You protect me like an older brother. You bitch with me like a girlfriend. You understand me like soulmate.

It's an honor to be as close to you as I am. I have thoroughly enjoyed spending these past 6 or so years getting to know you. Through road trips, campouts, march sanities, curling teams, being neighbors, being roommates, gentlemen's games, making up weird songs, puppies, daily Devins, late nights, singing in ska bands, heartaches, old married couple moments, laughing at things only we find funny, and on and on, you've been my constant.

Thank you for being weird like me. Thank you for defining your own family and still being my brother and best friend. Thank you for just being you. I hope you realize how much you are loved and not just by me. To know you is to deeply and truly love you.

And even if we never do run away together and be platonic life partners like we talk about, I know that you will always be in my life. I honestly don't know where I would be without you.

Happy Birthday, dear Devin. You are "the most perfectly appropriate gift for the 50th wedding anniversaries."