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Seriously. Go.

July 22, 2013

I think that Joanne summed it up best when she said “Go.”  Seriously, this is the best way to describe what Friends for Life is and what it will mean to you.  I’m also going to bullet the why’s because you don’t have the patience to read through my whole week.

  • I did a double take when I saw Sara for the first time, and I ran to her. The question from both her & Brian was “How do you pronounce your last name?” It made me laugh because it’s so normal to hear a close friend ask this question, right?
  • I saw Meri on the bus “home” from Epcot, and I didn’t want to introduce myself because I thought that might be creepy.  This seems silly now that I’ve met her & consider her a friend.  If there ever was a person that had the ability to lift you up, it’s Meri. I just hope that we all have the power to do that for her too.
  • When I met Christel, I didn’t realize it was actually her.  When she yelled “Hi Briley! It’s me!” I was in awe that she was just as excited to meet me. I didn’t think that amount of fight could fit into such a tiny person, but it can and it does and she gives wonderful hugs.  I joined the online community during her hiatus, and I’ve been longing to meet her ever since Kerri talked about her two years ago. I have no proof that we actually met, but I did chase her down the convention center hallway before she left with her beautiful family. (This is completely normal, right?)
  • I spent so much time with Tina and her family.  I was not expecting to, but I found myself looking forward to these moments and even seeking them.  Spending time with them made my experience much richer.
  • Listening to Kris Freeman talk was inspiring.  It also made me jealous of the way he’s able to test basals & boluses and exercise with the help of the U.S. Ski Team.  I wish we could all use those same tools.
  • When I saw Kerri she said “It’s you!”  Then Birdy said “you’re fwendly” after we jumped up and down in our princess dresses.  You know me, of course my heart melted.  I think the most important moment with this family was at the farewell breakfast though, when Kerri’s mom said she was glad she had the chance to meet me and something about it being an honor.  I managed a thank you, but I was in awe.
  • My most memorable moments have nothing to do with the conference sessions.  They are the moments where my new friends asked me & others questions that we just weren’t comfortable talking about in a room full of people.
  • I met a 3ish year old with the same name.  She spells it differently, but it’s said the same way (I asked her grandmother, and we both were very excited about this).
  • I learned and I learned and I learned and I learned.  And then I cried.  Everywhere I turned there were people there to pick me up.
  • Leaving Florida was one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time.

You will get more details later, but please let this suffice for now.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2013 9:54 AM

    Leaving FFL is SO hard! I was totally crying all over the farewell breakfast my first year.

    So glad you had a great experience!

    • July 24, 2013 11:11 AM

      I didn’t cry at the breakfast, but the airport was a different story!

  2. July 22, 2013 9:59 AM

    I’m so jealous that you got to attend! Sounds like you had a blast – yay!

  3. laosita permalink
    July 22, 2013 10:18 AM

    Meeting everybody in real life is SO incredible…that could be FFL’s marketing pitch instead of the learning sessions 🙂 Looking forward to hearing more. #dblogcheck

  4. July 22, 2013 10:24 AM

    You make it so hard to pass up FFL, as I have the past two years (actually, I didn’t know about it last year!) and probably will next year (standing plans on July 4 which have been around as long as I’ve been alive…can’t miss them!…and overlaps with FFL ’14) But I love hearing your takeaways from it!

  5. July 22, 2013 10:38 AM

    “Seriously. Go.” sums up FFL perfectly!!

  6. July 22, 2013 12:02 PM

    I want to go!! It sounds like you had an awesome time and made some forever memories!

  7. July 22, 2013 12:08 PM

    I love that most of these bullet points (or stars?) start with “when I met”. All of this online stuff is fine and dandy, but the real fun begins when hugs and fist-bumps are exchanged in person. FFL is the best.

    • July 24, 2013 11:12 AM

      This is why I was so hesitant to join any online communities, because personal interactions are so much more valuable!

  8. July 22, 2013 12:16 PM

    It sounds like such a valuable experience that I do hope to go one day. Before they stop hosting it! lol

  9. July 22, 2013 1:43 PM

    Perfect sum-up and message, Briley. Great meeting you. And I was so going to ask about your last name, but caught the response from Sara at the dinner table so had it covered! 🙂

  10. July 22, 2013 2:38 PM

    One of the regrets I have is not being able to hang with you and get to know you better! AHHHH! Next year! (I’m just pretending I’m going to find a way to get there next year. Don’t mind the delusional blogger. Move on. Nothing to see here.)

  11. July 22, 2013 4:04 PM

    Yup… Go. That’s all you need to know.

    Loved reading your take on things!

  12. July 22, 2013 6:43 PM

    I love reading your blog thoughts!

  13. July 22, 2013 7:19 PM

    So happy in my heart that you were able to go this year! FFL is good for the soul.

  14. July 22, 2013 8:01 PM

    I kept looking around for green bracelets at the airport on the way home…

    • July 24, 2013 11:13 AM

      I saw pods and green bracelets on my flight home! I was running to make my flight, so I didn’t get to talk to them, but I was still glad they were there.

  15. July 22, 2013 9:12 PM

    My whole family loves you. The only one left who needs to meet you is Chris. He’s overdue to meet “The Briley.”

  16. Ivy permalink
    July 22, 2013 9:37 PM

    What a beautiful post. Glad I met you at the end.

  17. July 22, 2013 10:33 PM

    I can’t really pass up a trip to Disney anything, can I? 🙂

  18. Sara permalink
    July 22, 2013 11:35 PM

    Just go!

    And scream and run toward a friend and pester them about their fancy last name.

    I can’t imagine a better way to finally meet someone you’ve been talking to forever!

  19. July 22, 2013 11:39 PM

    You’re right, Christel is a great fighter, but I’m not ready to concede yet–I don’t think she can move the mountains out of PA, though they’re not much taller than she is.

  20. July 22, 2013 11:39 PM

    awww – first let me second Chris and say that I love that most of your highpoints involve meeting someone. I sure felt like a ding-a-ling when we met at the booth and I didn’t realize it was YOU until I was sitting in a session couple hours later (social media – which I guess is irony or not I never know how to use that dang word).
    I loved that me and my family got to hang with you so much. I wouldn’t have guessed it – I mean there are all these families with kids at FFL and here we were hanging with you and other adult pwd. It was fantastic and I can’t wait for the next time we can hang out. I found myself a bit envious of the ‘other’ kids in your life and was wishing you were with my kids. Although I don’t work so basically Id be paying you to hang out with me. 😉
    You are an amazing and wonderful soul and I am so thankful to call you friend.

  21. July 23, 2013 4:56 AM

    I really hope to attend next year, thanks for sharing!!!

  22. kelly2k permalink
    July 23, 2013 10:05 AM

    Friends for Life was so awesome – And I’m so glad we had the chance to meet and hang out!

  23. August 9, 2013 10:49 PM

    Thanks for sharing! Sounds like such an amazing experience!

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