On the one hand I love the idea of, like, camps and retreats and workshops and conferences, of focusing really intensely on something for a few days, and having intense conversations and forming friendships with the other people there.
And I’ve really enjoyed the (few) experiences like that that I’ve had.
But exactly the same things that make events like these exciting (cramming lots of things into a short time with significant time pressure, spending All Day Every Day doing intense important things*, everything being spontaneous verbal conversations) are very tiring for me, and in general not very conducive to me actually participating, thinking clearly, or remembering much of anything useful after the event is over.
That doesn’t stop me from getting everything I can out of events like these and appreciating them when I do go to them. And reading books/essays/blogs, and talking to people online, aren’t actually inferior forms of communication and I really value those connections, too.
But sometimes I do feel sad and left out when people are like “I went to this performance/workshop/etc. and it was so life-changing,” because a lot of my equivalent moments are like “The third time I read this essay I realized…” and that’s just not as exciting.
* Extra bonus not-for-me-ness if there’s a culture of “officially the event is over for the day at dinnertime, but all the really cool conversations happen at the unofficial meetup at a bar later at night.”