|Photo description: A wooden fence held together by nails at the top and bottom of the individual planks.|
I was able to talk to a lot of different people, hear a lot of wonderful ideas, laugh at some really good stories. It was wonderfully social, wonderfully welcoming and wonderfully engaging. In short, I had a good time. Joe, too, was welcome and engaged. I was often rolling off one way while he went another. I could hear his laugh, which is uniquely his, across a crowded room. It was nice.
When last night was over and we came back up to the room. I felt a sense of real melancholy. I know after today's sessions, I will be with Joe as we pack the car and head to another hotel. We aren't flying home until Sunday, and this hotel is out of our budget, We are going to crash tonight and then hit the town a bit tomorrow.
Here's the thing.
I have to transition from this world, the world of the conference where I am known, as a speaker yes, but as a person too. I get treated as if I belong there, and respected there, and as if I would be missed had I not shown. Joe, too, gets treated as if our relationship matters and his support of me is appreciated.
Now I have to go into the real world.
And it shouldn't, but that saddens me.
I like just being part of a social unit rather than a thing to be stared at, laughed at and mocked.
But, I need to put up my defences, reconstruct them again - they've been down for a couple of days, and I'll be fine.
But I want more than fine.
Just a little more than ... fine.