The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray. – Oscar Wilde
From the title, you are probably thinking that I am preparing myself for “the talk” with my child. No, that isn’t it. Recently, I was invited to speak at an upcoming TEDx talk in my community. The title of my talk is “We are not alone” and it is about coming forward about my story of childhood sexual abuse. I will be talking about my experiences and hopefully, my words will inspire others to at least think about talking about their own stories.
When I first applied to be a speaker at the event, I figured it would be easy to just talk about what I have lived. Oh, maybe I will be a little nervous talking to a bunch of strangers, but overall, I didn’t think much of the impact that preparation would cause. It has been 7 years since I first told my secret of abuse and each time I tell my story to people, it get’s a little easier and I end up growing a little more. That being said, each time I talk about it, it does tax my emotions. Thankfully, there are buffers of time between to recharge my batteries and I get to rest and put my thoughts away for another day. My problem now is, my preparations for my TED talk require me to rehearse, think, rewrite, think some more and then rehearse again my past every single day. My story has once again occupied me on a daily basis and it drains me. The unfortunate consequence of my rehearsing is that I find that I cannot escape my story. It has consumed me once again.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a complaint. This is just part of the challenge. I had figured the only battle I would have would be my nerves. Could I have done this talk 3 years ago or even last year? Probably not. My anxieties just wouldn’t have allowed it. It takes a great amount of confidence to do something like this and confidence is something I have always struggled with. I have learned that preparation leads to confidence, so that is what I am doing now. Using the tools that I have gained over the years and I am building up the confidence to perform the most challenging thing I have ever taken on.
So, while the preparation for my upcoming TEDx talk has been very challenging, I have not allowed my raw emotion to disrupt my daily life. Over the years I have built up a toolbox of aids that will guide me through any rough spot. Tools such as walking, exercising, being present with my family, eating properly (and not emotionally) and getting good quality rest. The next couple of weeks will be a little crazy leading up to the big day, but what real goal isn’t worth a good challenge? That is what pushing yourself is all about! When you have the right tools for the job and the right people in place to help you, it leaves no wonder of what you can accomplish!