Spent the weekend in Orlando. I went to a conference I used to work at every year. Now I drive instead of fly, I stay at offsite hotels instead of at the resort, I wear flip-flops instead of heels but the rest is the same — I show up to talk to customers and presenters and get the reminder that what I do actually matters.

I’ve spent the last year killing myself in a job I like but I don’t always love … doing things that don’t exactly build my resume but do keep the company in business … and sometimes feeling either like the most-special person on earth or else like the cleaning lady while other people seem to get the glory.

Everyone makes fun of me for still giving a crap about this conference. But everyone’s also very interested in what I learned and who I met.

I know the conference neither takes hard work nor offers the debauchery of yesteryear to offset it. But it still means something to me. I walked away with some great knowledge and a really good contact. I also walked away remembering that people really do read every word I write and it matters, what I have to say. (Even if it’s mostly written under others’ names.)

More importantly, I recognized that my talent has always been not just editing, but making connections … putting the right people in touch with each other, being able to sense the quality people/content from the b.s., and basically knowing and doing what’s right for the subscriber.

So right now I’m in a role where I have influence but I don’t make the decisions. And it’s a role I am comfortable in. It’s not a stopping point, by any means, especially not since I was once a decision-maker and I want to be one again.

But, you know. It’s just another reminder that I can either grow where I am, or find someplace else to grow. But whichever I pick (or is picked for me. Gulp.), the fact is, I’m not happy unless I’m growing. And I’m happy to be reminded of when I used to shine, because that’s my ticket to shining again.

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