If you should Con, it should be a #NonCon: Aiming Low Non Conference Recap

I came. I saw. I cried. I rallied. I was thankful. This is the usual the order of how things work in my brain. This is exactly how I experienced the Aiming Low NonConference.

Right after Blogher 12, Anissa invited me to work with the team. She needed someone to be Faiqa’s number two while doing her spreadsheet/logistics thing and I said yes. I said yes, because when I grow up I want to be half as cool as Faiqa. Not in the Muslim way, but in the badass feminist writer way.

The cool thing about my #NonCon experience was the way I got the chance to be an external part of the team. I came in on the end of the planning phase that was transitioning into execution and I got a unique glimpse into how these women were pulling off such an awesome thing. I was able to see that this team of women  were birthing something together. A collective dream baby, if you will. I was able to watch some of the growing pains, the blowouts, the late nights covered in vomit… have I pushed this baby analogy too far?

I digress.

What I am trying to say is that Leila, Anissa, and Faiqa had an Asian- Asian- Middle Eastern dream baby and named it NonCon.

My time working with the Aiming Low team and attending the Aiming Low NonCon was really amazing and hard. I grew a lot as a person, learned new skills in working with a team, faced some insecurities/character flaws, and laughed laughed laughed more than I have at any conference. My friend Stephanie, The Park Wife, came all the way from Arkansas because she stalks loves Ree Drummond. One evening as she looked on and I interacted with a table of people, she grabbed my arm and smiled, “Jasmine. You have truly found your people.” Stephanie has this sage/homeschooling mom/freaky intuitive way about her. I am a part of a lot of blogger groups. I’ve never wanted to call any of them my tribe, until I found Aiming Low. Stephanie is right. Like it or not, Aiming Low… you are my people.

The Roundtables were droppin’ knowledge, the parties were low key and fun, and the people were so unique and creative. At one point Leila looked at me, “Jasmine… we are gonna need some Kleenex.” It was true!  We needed tissues because people cried at their Roundtable sessions. People were connecting. The most powerful part was that when people spoke, they were being truly heard. Or they were sitting next to Katherine. Katherine makes people cry.

To be truly  seen and heard by another is a gift, and this was the gift that the NonCon gave. If you are thinking of a conference to start with or a conference to end with, this conference is for you. Anissa, Faiqa, and Leila created an environment that cleared the space for people to connect and be intentional with each other.


I think we can contribute it to the fact that Asian persons have such amazing Ch´i…

The walls of pretension were brought down and no one was a “big deal”

…. well, almost no one.

Cecily, Vicki, and Alexandra will ALWAYS be big deals to me.

I left the NonCon with new skills, new insights, and a really confusing perspective on how bras should or should fit (thanks JULIE!). I also obtained a new perspective on the lesser known tragedy of duck rape.

OH! I left with my first hangover. Thanks a lot, Robin Plemmons.

More than anything else, I think I found a group of people who totally know I am a hot mess and love me in spite of it.


Thanks for letting me be  a part of team Anissa, Faiqa, and Leila.



  1. You said it. I feel that way too – I found my people.

    • I am so happy to be one of them. You are such a talented woman. Also, the Huz? Total keeper… but I think you figured that out. ;)

  2. Ahh you made me want to be there.. So glad you found your tribe! That has to be a great feeling..

  3. Sounds like a blast! I’ll totally add for my to con list for 2013!

    • Sweet! IF there is anyone I want to party it up with… it is MS. Rachée!

      • Those are the nicest words! It would not be where it is without you and the ARWB’s. So grateful and in awe. Thank you.

        • You are working it! I cannot tell that you are just starting… you got skills!

  4. Jasmine, you made me feel like a rock star. Thanks for that.
    Can’t wait to see everyone again soon!

    • Girl PLEASE! That lil squishy made you a rockstar! Mad props for being a mom and a conference attendee seamlessly. I would have been a wreck!

    • Jasmime: that’s funny. Say it again a third time IT WILL CRACK ME UP!!!


      • oh my gosh and here I go again befudding up on someone else’s blog. That comment of “haha say it again” should be underneath somewhere else and oh my god but where did that come from?

        I think I fell asleep at the keyboard for a minute.

        Or had finger tourette’s.

        Or something.


        I think it’s best I go now.

        Don’t blame you for not proposing to me … I SO get it.

        • Haha! No worries… I double and triple post things ALL the time!

  5. Duck rape is no joke Jasmine. Srs bizness.

    It was great to hang out with you. I’m glad you spoke to me this time ;)

    • Oh… because the READERS had to know that I may or may not (I can neither confirm or deny) stared at you and stalked you a Blogher? Really, Vik!? Can I have NO secrets?

      Jokes aside. Me too… I was super intimidated at Blogher 12 to see all the people I’ve admired from afar. I also was eating way too many Churros at Queerosphere and I felt unprepared to talk to anyone when distracted by Churros and Chocolate.
      I will convince you to marry me, one way or the other. I’ll even cube your Watermelon…

    • You’ll have to visit UpPoppedAFox.com for that one. Vikki has a cause. Expect campaign contribution email exploitation that OBAMA would be embarrassed of.

      • Please do. I expect a website. A twitter handle. A facebook page. Lets do this right!

  6. I’m glad you had such a good experience. You are my favorite new friend. :)

    • Lo! I love you! I really enjoyed our serious talks. Also, you are/were beautiful in Karen’s video. I gasped. For realz.

  7. Jasmine, I thought you were sweet as could be with your kindness amid deadlines when I first met you at BlogHer 12 and we were setting up the CAYA party. You had amazing patience with me and tried so hard to understand how I need things explained at least four times, and each time in a different way.

    Thanks for taking on this simple woman from a small town who just stays home with her kids.

    You are a beautiful person, and I’ll always remember the realness and sincerity of your hug when I had that there moment, I fell apart … so far from home, and my boy wanted me five feet away from him.

    Thank you for being my rock steady when it counted.

    Love knowing, love AimingLow, Love Anissa for the community and sense of belonging she’s given to all of us.

    Because, in the end: we just want to belong.

    • Man. I felt that moment with you…so hard and frightening. Letting go is so vulnerability inducing. There is growth there, though. I saw you inhale and receive what I said to you with trust. YOU are a good mom. HE will be okay. YOU both will be okay. SO proud of that moment with you. I admire your moxy.

      Lets be Latina friends. I’ll let you spell Columbian any way you want ;)

  8. Oh man, this got me all wispy. I feel exactly the way you do; I’ve found my tribe, and my inspiration. I haven’t been this motivated to write in a long time, and I thank all of you ladies at Aiming Low for that. NonCon showed me that i’m so imperfect and different, and that makes me an awesome person. And that there are lots more imperfectly perfect people out there. They also love animal figurines as much as I do. Hopefully next year we can spend some time together, because you seem pretty awesome :-D

  9. I wanted to pack everyone up in my suitcase and bring the NonCon home, especially because for all of my gangstahood, I’m am that loser with no local friends to hang out with. Work associates? Yes. Fall out laughing (or crying) together because you’re on THAT kind of wavelength? Aside from my hubs, no. I don’t think I realized just how much I needed that until I got so filled up it at the NonCon.

    You, dear Jasmine, I was especially glad to meet. You wanna move down to Georgia?

    • This is my reaction too. Dear God how I needed to laugh with some good people who think I’m fun and worth being around. It felt so good.

  10. Did you call me a freak? bwahahaha. In this crazy world, it is a beautiful thing when we find our tribe, many will seek and never find. Be thankful and continue to honor the beauty of these women who are fountains for you. And yes, I love me some Ree Drummond, I think she is a beautiful soul. And, hey, I love you too soul sistah.

  11. Wonderful post, Jasmine… I’m proud to call you one of my people. I found my people at NonCon as well. I think we all did. It was magical.

  12. Jasmine, it would have been impossible without the help you put into the the NonCon. I’m so glad you got to enjoy it too. Connect with people. I can never thank you enough!

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