'You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes, and they are right too.'
This snippet has been rolling around my head and heart a lot lately (the rest of it is lovely too). You see, for months I've been writing and preparing to step onto the stage at TedX Charlotte. As I got closer to the day of the final audition, the more I fought myself. You see, I knew I wasn't ready, but I so wanted to be ready, to do it all and do it well. I was tromping through my days wearing a blindfold and a broken flashlight (aka: denial to the extreme).
Tears were shed, drafts written and rewritten as I crammed my own words into my head. I sent in a few versions for coaching and last week got the feedback that I needed, a stepping stone away from speaking. It was direct and encouraging feedback, which is all everyone wants, right? It also spoke to my heart, and made me realize that I was not ready, nor could I be in the time left.
After much soul (and schedule) searching, I decided to let it go. To remove this huge, terrifying thing from my plate. My decision has been met with such kindness, from the coordinators and fellow speakers, to the few friends I've told already, and especially by my family.
It took a few days, but I'm feeling better too, more solid in my skin. I'm proud of myself for stepping back, and am looking forward to my other projects with renewed zeal.
My talk will take form in some other manner, I believe in what I have to say, and know it needs to be shared. The right venue will be found, of that I'm sure.
In the mean time, may I offer some hard-learned advice? Something I hope I remember more often in my own life.
Be kind to yourself, you don't have to do everything all the time.
much love to you.