Hello, friends ;p
I hope Tuesday is treating you well. I was 30 minutes late to work today (shout out to NYC public transit!!!!!). But I just had my lunch, so my energy spike is feelin' spicy. Let's get to it!
You know that horrible, shaky feeling when you're about to do something you have absolutely no experience in?! That's where I've been at for the last couple of weeks.
A friend asked me to coordinate and host events at a restaurant/bar in Brooklyn. What was I supposed to do, run away screaming? Well, that's what I wanted to do. Lmao.
I was floored to get the news, and I've learned to enjoy the sweat of speaking in front of people, but the last time I reaaaally hosted an event was back in fall 2012. It was a dating auction, and I was a total bust :-O Before I went on, my friends assured me that I'd do great and that there was nothing to worry about. LOL! What great friends.
either way, I put myself out there. Whether or not I was completely terrible is besides the point ;p
Before then, I had ZERO experience with talking in front of a crowd beyond the classroom. I always admired my public speaking professor; she looked so alive and exuberant when class would begin. I wanted to ignite that same energy outside of public speaking courses, but I learned -- in under 30 seconds -- that public speaking ain't the same beyond five-minute speeches.
What I remember most was being too nervous to talk. My co-host stole the show and the audience's attention. It felt great to relinquish any power I thought I had. "Have the stage, please!!!" I must have thought.
Any human in that room has long forgotten my embarrassing fumbles (I hope). What I haven't forgotten, though, is the fire I felt when I decided to co-host the event. When I started undergrad in 2010 -- and after realizing a psych degree was a no-no -- I knew my long term purpose was to lead folks and to speak in front of people. So I, a naturally shy and recovering socially awkward person, decided to do that.
I also knew I had a lot of work to do. Fast forward to 2017, and I'm feeling this same edgy, inescapable feeling as the mic night date approaches. It'll be the first event of its kind at that space, so I'm excited to set the bar. But teaching and hosting are separate ball games... Thankfully, I'm working on my anxiety with my therapist!
It's comforting to hear about other shy/nervous/anxious folks who step out of it in order to do what they love. (I love the sidebar quotes on Poetry Out Loud's website. Different folks share their experiences with competing and the adversities they face alongside it.) There are a lot of us out there -- and maybe you, too.
What's stopping you from doing ya thang? Nervousness? Fear? Something more logical? Lol.
Thanks for reading! If you dug this post, holla at me in the comment section.
If you need to catch up on some old jams, here's a throwback post: "Do you trust your body?" featuring a super cute doggo gif (that's Watson on Instagram!!). 😘 Click on this to read more about this whole bklynprose thang. Happy reading, happy writing, and cheers to being what you please!