Last weekend I had the incredible opportunity to attend the 2017 Ali Edwards Story Camp in Eugene, OR. If you had told me even six months ago that I was going to have an opportunity to meet Ali, who has so heavily influenced the way I think about memory keeping, and in turn just thinking about everyday life, I probably would have brushed it off in disbelief. So, as uber cliche as this is to say, going to this event was honestly a bit of a dream come true for me.
Story Camp started on Friday (June 2) evening with a writing workshop. Writing has always been my biggest challenge when it comes to memory keeping, so I was excited to dive into this portion. Some prompts proved to be more challenging than others, but I was happy to stick with it. The whole session felt therapeutic being surrounded by so many supportive friends who understand why this is important.
Saturday was a very full day. After breakfast and a quick walk to grab a chai latte, the day began. We finished up the writing portion of the workshop and then headed into the 4 projects Ali had planned for us. It was so fun stretching myself with each project. Each project got me out of my comfort zone in some way, and for that I’m grateful.
(Photo above by Laura Wosnik)
I’m so used to scrapping on my own, so to have the opportunity to walk around and see what others were working on, and to see their excitement about the projects, was so much fun.
In the evening I had dinner with 4 fellow creative team members, Brandi Kinkad, Jess Forster, Laura Wonsik, and Pam Baldwin. It was seriously the best. Each of them has inspired me so much, and to have the chance to talk to them (in real life!) was incredible. Jess also recorded a bit of our conversation to go on her podcast (coming soon!), so you might want to check that out if you’re interested in hearing multiple perspectives on what people got out of the workshop.
If I were to plan my trip all over again I would have given myself 2 extra days- one to explore Portland and another to explore Eugene, but, in the few minutes that I did get to walk around, I tried to make the most of it. I was super charmed by lovely Eugene.
The whole experience was pretty emotional for me, which definitely came out in a good cry on Sunday morning when I met up with Ali, Katie, and the other creative team member attendees for donuts and conversation . . . and inevitably, to say goodbye.
So, here I am, one week later, still trying to process everything and how much it meant to me. I will forever be grateful to Ali and Katie for their generosity, and to each and every person that attended who I got to know and hear their stories.