I’ve been blessed with being able to meet a lot of really cool people, connect with a lot more, and be presented with a lot of really amazing opportunities. At the end of December, I declared 2012 as the year of Good Things, and whether it is actually happening or it is just perspective [which IS still actually happening]. For instance, Ari Shine and Josh Damigo follow me on Twitter, and that is pretty awesome, because they are kickass musicians working super hard at what they do. I only mention this, because it is the pure connecting power of the Internet that has helped me land in a lot of places.
A few months ago, I haphazardly filled out an application to attend the Medicine-X conference at Stanford Medical School in Palo Alto, California, on recommendation of a Twitter follower who had attended Med-X in the past. Haphazardly because, thank you academic writing, I can make myself sound decent without trying too hard. And then, mostly I forgot about it assuming that nothing would come of it.
Last week, I received an e-mail that I had been selected to receive a full ePatient scholarship to Med-X including accommodation. Soon enough, the tweets started flying from others I follow with links of those of us selected for scholarships to the conference. In the Patient Engagement track, I am one of two Canadians, which is a huge honour in itself. Not only that, but to be alongside my friends Kim of Texting My Pancreas and Cherise, founder of Diabetes Social Media Advocacy or #dsma. These ladies are amazing people and hardcore influencers in the diabetes online community, so to be among them is amazing. We immediately started throwing tweets, direct messages and Facebook messages at one another.
Once the initial excitement wore off slightly, I started thinking rationally. School, money. Scouring the internet for the cheapest flights I could find with missing the least school possible. How I could get from San Francisco International Airport to the hotel, and how much it would cost. Dude, I’ve never travelled by myself before . . . never mind in a place where my phone won’t work. Anyway, airfare had me scratching out numbers on a post-it. $550 is not bad for airfare going from the middle of one country to the coast of another in the least. But people, I work eight hours a week, sometimes a few more. I’m a full-time student. You know, the usual cards us students have to play.
I thought for days. I thought about making it work, about parting with probably what would end up being close to $1,000 for a three-day sprint of a trip. And I gave up on the idea, e-mailed the organizers of Med-X and reluctantly declined my scholarship. I Facebooked Kim and Cherise, Dia [who is basically my rationalizer] and Steve [one of my buddies in the Bay Area], and told them I was probably out.
Then at about 2 PM today my email bing’ed and there was a message from Larry Chu. Who offered an up-to $300 reimbursement toward my travel expenses to help enable me to attend Med-X. And my jaw dropped. I am already receiving conference registration, which is like $500, and a shared room at the Sheraton . . . and now they were offering to help offset the costs of traveling to the conference. This is a huge opportunity, and I’ve never done anything like this before. To attend Med-X with Kim, and hopefully Cherise, would be amazing.
I have another twenty-four hours or so to continue the considerations and make the decision. The Good Things, though, they keep coming, and I feel like how can I turn this opportunity down? Because it’s all aligning so amazingly–with so much of the cost being covered, with Cherise and Kim being on the roster, too, and with the haphazardity that I filled out the application, I feel that this must be aligning for a reason.
And how can I say no to the Good Things, right?
To be continued . . .