Last week was a rollercoaster, it started out not so good (as most of you know my father Cpt. Spauldad has been in the hospital), however ended with a great accumulation of returning to my past in Greenville and inspiration for the future.
Greenville, South Carolina… where this whole social media career started for me, where Destructo Deviations began as a blog showcasing different gems of Greenville while I was diving into cans of Bruce’s Yams because of unemployment. Now it’s funny that I am returning for a conference TEDxGreenville that showcases the talents of Greenville (and beyond) while working for Bruce’s Yams.
Talking with fellow Tampa social media tweeple (and all around awesome guy) Kevin Lyons, on the plane ride over here. It’s strange how only looking back a few months you find your self constantly moving yourself into either a step up or a step back, it all depends on your attitude. Working hard to succeed is always good, but we both found that it’s always the moments where you aren’t looking for something that you get the light that shows the next step in your path. However, it’s always good to look back (or visit) those old places you’ve been through those tough times in your life. Usually those times when you are yelling in your head “What am I doing?” or when you feel like you aren’t making progress in your current situation.
I spent my first hours in Greenville with Bryant who is somewhat a VIP at his local sushi joint, I felt like I was in the mob. Venturing upon plates of Sushi (no sweet potato tempura!) and learned the proper way to eat a bowl of noodles. He showed me these bubble gum flavored, Japanese drinks that have marbles in them. I looked at the Japanese food store we were in to see if they had any Sweet Potato Kit Kat bars. Hashtag this #Yamfail
Later on in the evening I attended the pre-TEDx Greenville meetup for the TEDx speakers and VIP’s, it was great to be able to network with some of the best of TEDx and see some of my very missed Greenville folks. I made so many great connections that night and new friends… It’s was interesting to see the mix of the old southern gentlemen and business ladies next to people like TimTv and myself. Even better it was amazing despite the differences, the similar connections you can make by just talking about a can of Bruce’s Yams, “Oh yeah! We love yams… *insert 10 minutes of rambling off their favorite yam recipes*” Bruce’s Yams and Miss Destructo, bringing people together. #yamwin
I can honestly say I didn’t know what to expect from TEDxGreenville, i’ve been to many conferences before where you pick and choose the people you want to go see and usually I stand out in the hallway meeting people more than I spend attending panels. But TEDx, is more of a “your butt must be in the seat” for every speaker, not so much to force ideas upon you but for you to share a common experience with your fellow attendees during a whole day of performances, speeches and inspiring stories. I just remember walking into the building in amazement of the number of people that had shown up, it was a packed house and as my new Tampa pal Kevin said “I can’t walk in front of you” as there was so many of my long awaiting twitter and blog fans stopping me in the lobby. “Miss Destructo!” was a common heard phrase that day and I have to say it was a pleasure meeting all of you. Without the fuel and ideas that I get from my followers and readers, my life would be much different and less full of yams. It was great to hear that most of you already follow my yamtastic adventures with Bruce’s Yams, most of the Greenville people I met can remember when I was running my “Will Work For Yams” campaign on my twitter account. That’s why Greenville and attending TEDx was so special for me, to open doors to new opportunities while among the people that first inspired me.
TedxGreenville was amazing, not only did I learn how to grow mushrooms and about the power of ignorance. But I learned that the greatest power of the event was it’s ability to connect a broad spectrum of topics and people to relate to every person’s life. Truly worth every penny, as I walked away from the conference that day with not only many new friends and career opportunities but enough knowledge to power a small country. For a small town, Greenville has a big community and an even bigger heartbeat in it’s role in social media, technology and business. As I got asked many times that day “Would you move back Miss Destructo? We miss you!” ah, my dear Greenville, it is a romance that is only a muse and not a long term relationship. But what I have taken away from this event will further my everyday quest to find my place in this world.
Huge thanks to Bruce’s Foods, Trey Pennington, Phil Yanov, Aaron von Frank, Susan Sebotnick, TimTv, Kamran Popkin, Kevin Lyons and all of my friends new and old for supporting me on my yamventures in Greenville. Keep rockin the yam pride, i’ll see you all again and next time I am bringing yams. Lots of yams.
View all my TEDx Photos on Flickr…. http://www.flickr.com/photos/missdestructo/sets/72157623456052513/
More TEDx Greenville Photos by @linkerjpatrick can be found here… http://picasaweb.google.com/thinkhammer/TEDxGreenville2010#5445544077092125714