I'm just back from the American Herbalists Guild Symposium in Colorado.
I went to my first AHG Symposium in 2001, which feels like yesterday but was somehow more than 20 years ago.
One of the things about being involved in herbalism for so long is that now I know a lot of people there.
I saw people in CO who I feel very close to but haven't seen in decades. I ran into people who I work with all the time online but have never seen in person. There were former students and former teachers there. I met tons of new folks and spent time with old friends.
Overall, I left feeling connected and nourished, if a bit over-peopled.
This was not true at all of my first Symposium in 2001.
I left that one feeling overwhelmed (many of the talks were way over my head) and a bit isolated. I'm an introvert and didn't know a single person heading into the conference. I wasn't sure I belonged and didn't want to bother anyone.
If you are newer to a field and/or to a particular event, it may take a while to find your people and build community.
Like most good things, it takes time. Sometimes a lot of time.
Just know that if you keep showing up for long enough - even as a pretty serious introvert - things do get easier 💚