Once upon a time I was feeling brave. I try not to feel brave very often, because when I do, the crazy little ideas I keep buried in the back of my head solidify and turn into crazy big plans that take on a life of their own.
On a whim, I submitted an abstract for something I had been thinking about for a while – namely, my fear of other people and how I’m slowly learning to gracefully dance around my issues by stomping the ever-living fuck out of them. Just like I (eventually) grew tired of being crazy, I grew tired of waiting around for life to be interesting so I went and Did Something about it.
That something appears to have culminated in giving a presentation to a shockingly full room of people, most of whom I did not know. Outside of work, it was the first public speech I’ve had to give that involved actual preparation – casting doesn’t count because there’s no prep work and I don’t have to make eye contact with anyone (because then I’d miss the action I was supposed to be calling). It was terrifying. I felt very small and very silly all at once, and I don’t remember half of what I said. I know I repeated myself several times and lost my place more than once, and most of my advice can be boiled down to “don’t be an asshole”. I ended my presentation with presents for the audience so they’d forget how many times I fucked up or stumbled over my words or just plain made no sense – don’t forget, I submitted the abstract thinking there was no way in hell it would actually be accepted so imagine my surprise and terror when I started hearing that people were actually INTERESTED in the topic – and instead concentrate on the awesome things my talented friends provided. I’m afraid of people, but I can be cunning when the situation calls for it (or when there is spy music playing in the background).
But .. I did it. I planned, built and delivered a presentation on overcoming the very thing that tries to keep me in the corner of the room trying desperately to sink into the floor. Not only that, but I think I may have pulled it off – people were saying some ridiculously nice things about my session on Twitter and to me afterward. Some of it was about the presents – let’s face it, the swag bags were *awesome* – but I think I got my message across. I don’t actually remember what that message is – it’s been a very long and overwhelming day – but I think I might have done good.
I think I might be proud of myself. What a weird feeling.