Notes From Camp: Part 1 (The Learning)

I'm home from Camp Mighty. After spending four days in sunny, warm, not-New-York-like Palm Springs, my plane finally touched down on familiar ground, barreling down the runway toward reality.

I was impatiently fiddling in my seat, wedged between two strangers, as New York's lights welcomed me home — bouncing energy off our tiny airplane windows, as only New York lights can do.

But New York can, for me, can have an exhausting kind of energy. Maybe it was the addition of all-day traveling from one coast to the next, or the juxtaposition of Palm Spring's lazy outdoor airport with the rushing, crowded, sterile La Guardia. Or maybe it was the realization that it's time to start doing all of the things we talked about over the weekend, and that's a little overwhelming. And scary. And exciting. Regardless, it took me a minute to catch my breath. But I'm back.

Camp Mighty was an incredible meet-up of inspirational, ambitious people: Men, women, writers, makers, corporate workers, entrepreneurs, and superstars (hi, Jenny Lawson) — all sharing the goal of being better and doing more.

We chatted in the hot tub, by the pool, and in hotel rooms. We sat in sessions, listening to speeches from mind-blowing people (like the founder of Pinterest? whhhat?), and swapping stories.

We came from different backgrounds, with different goals, but we were each other's people.

And I kept thinking about you guys.

The whole weekend was about following our passions, taking risks, improving ourselves, and accomplishing goals, despite that jerky voice in our heads (and in our lives) that shakes its head and snorts at our lofty dreams. And that's so many of us, right?

I started scribbling down notes to share with you guys, although I just wished you could have been there — to realize that nothing on your Life List is silly or unattainable, and that everyone has obstacles in their lives (whether you had a baby at a young age or you lost a job or you just keep failing at a goal). We all have "situations," as one exceptionally inspiring speaker reminded us. "There's no situation that's more important than who you are." 

BOOM.

Do you hear that? He's talking to you! He's talking to me!

Here are some more of my favorite quotes from speakers:

"Life is full of punctuations." -Derrek Kayongo, founder of The Global Soap Project, on the unexpected twists that life can take.

"Never let situations define you." -Derrek Kayongo (which is similar to my own life philosophy)

"YOU are the person who has to change." - Derrek Kayongo, on not waiting for another person, or another event, to change your life.

"Find the way to be your best self and then extend that to others." - Maggie Mason of Mighty Girl/Camp Mighty/Go Mighty

"Our opinions of ourselves are not fact." - Maggie Mason

"The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want in the moment." -Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day

"If you dream really, really big, you can build really, really big things." -Ben Silbermann, founder of Pinterest

"If you're not gonna bet on you, no one else will." - Ben Silbermann (also similar to what I've felt in the past)

***

These people — and by these people, I mean all the people, not just the speakers — were oozing inspiration and ideas and productive energy until we were all wading in a puddle of LET'S DO THIS. And it was all in this quiet, surreal, movie-setting type of a place where the stars were clearer and our thoughts were sharper. (Or maybe that was the lack of kids? Hm...)

It was an experience that I wish I could sprinkle on each and every one of you. And it's an experience that will only strengthen the future of Early Mama.

Buckle up, mamas.

***

See more Camp Mighty photos on my Instagram feed.