I was envisioning this great big dance performance with many dancers taking the stage. But when I went to check out the space at the Munk Centre for Global Affairs, there was no stage and the space was quite small. Change of plans. It was going to run with a solo piece. I'd figure something out...
There were so many abstract ideas I wanted to share through my dance and as I wrote it all down, I began thinking what if the words on the pages could come alive during the dance? I'm no spoken word artist but oddly, every so often, I've seen myself do it in my past life. So there I was practicing spoken word, perfecting the dance, while putting the video and music together that would be projected in the background. It was going to be magnificent.
But as the days grew closer, I began to get really (really) nervous. I felt like a crazy writer, pacing back and forth in my kitchen hating my ideas and revising them furiously on sheets of paper and on my computer. I was practicing the dance but falling out of it half way through. What was I thinking? I've never done a performance like this before and I was succumbing to the pressures of making it as great as all of the other TED talks that I've watched. The night before, I wanted to back out but I knew that wasn't choice. I'd be crazy. The bad kinda crazy.
I practiced long and hard and I attempted to erase the image of me forgetting all my words and being stuck with a microphone and a blank stare on my face. There goes my powerful message..
On the day of the event, I tried to stay pretty calm. Listening to the other speakers and seeing the Annex community come together to spread great ideas quieted a few of my nerves. I was closing the event so as the time approached for me to perform, I ran my lines and moves one last time and decided to let it go to the universe. Whatever happens, will happen and if anything, it will be a learning experience for the future. Don't get me wrong, my heart was still racing. Fast.
Once I got up in front of everyone, I honestly don't even know what happened but the words poured out, the moves flowed and the curious eyes and slight nods my way made me feel like I was on the right track. It all felt very surreal and once it was done, I wanted more.
Lesson learned: FACE YOUR FEARS - even if it keeps you up late at night, even if you think your going to have a heart attack from your heart racing too fast, even if you think it's crazy, even if you doubt yourself, just DO IT. Let that fear drive you forward - its means your growing to new heights, your challenging yourself and no matter what the outcome is, you've learned something new about yourself. Isn't that what life is all about anyway? Discovering who you are and using your best self to help and give back to others?? I think so.
Thank you TEDx Annex Women for such an incredible, inspiring and transformative event. I'm even more addicted and can't wait to see what's next...my heart beat is now full and steady:)