I thought I would join other What If attendees in trying to explain what happened to us last week. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but I am pretty positive that every single person who was in the Dominican Republic last week is a different person today. There aren’t words that can explain in detail, you just had to be there. For me it starts back around Christmastime with my best friend Lara asking me to attend with her. At the time I was in a place where I could barely interact with my friends, and meeting new people seemed impossible. I will say that I was likely the least outgoing person there, and that is pretty characteristic of me these days. I am introverted, shy, and lacking in confidence. Especially after what I have been through this last year. People were opening up without fear of being judged, and it was beautiful to witness. I have discovered more about myself than I ever thought possible. I have a lot to say about What If – and I will say it here soon, but I haven’t finished processing my thoughts yet. “Processing my thoughts”. That is something I don’t say.

Day 1 I found myself complaining to Lara that I just wished this conference was happening 6 months from now, when my life would be “on track”. I felt like I was in the thick of “the shit” when I left Boston and that I wouldn’t be able to really take in what was being put in front of me. On day 2, I walked into Jonas’ talk, the lights were dim, some beautiful music was playing softly and the Holstee Manifesto was covering the wall. I got a weird shivery feeling and started to cry. I then decided that What If could not have happened at a better time in my life. 6 months later would be too late, and 6 months earlier – well, I am pretty sure I would have been audibly bawling my eyes out in the corner the entire time. February 4th-9th 2013 marks the turning point for me in my life. Thank you so so much, Jen & Steve.

The Holstee Manifesto