I stood in my bathroom, finishing up my makeup. Tears welled in my eyes. My chest moved in and out and I worked hard to breath out the nerves.
Reasons of not to go, why I shouldn’t do it, why I couldn’t do it swirled in my head. My phone dinged. It was a text from my sister wishing me good luck and sharing powerful words of encouragement. The welled up tears went away and the swirling excuses quieted.
Dressed and ready to go I filled the babysitter in on my notes for her. I grabbed my bag and off I went. In the car I blared the radio. My favorite upbeat and pump you up 70s and 80s tunes came on. It was almost as if they knew I needed them. I sand along to the music, embracing its energy and soaking up their words. Remember that conference session, remember when you didn’t do well, remember how awful that felt when you messed up the whispers shouted and took over my thoughts. I channeled my inner calm, took deep breaths, tried to put the thoughts away but the tears began to well again and the thoughts took over. Shouting and screaming the whispers began to shout! Remember that conference session, remember when you didn’t do well, remember how awful that felt when you messed up they repeated and reminded me. As the words continued to cycle the deep breaths and attempts to push them away failed. So I took a deep breath and I shouted at the top of my lungs “@#$% you!!!! @#$% you!!!!” and I shoved the memory that had ruled my thoughts.
When I got to the conference I stepped out of my car. The school it was at was just like mine.The cafeteria I would give my speech in was just like mine and the educators watching were just like the ones I work with. As I sat and waited for the opening speeches to start I sipped my coffee and sat quietly with a friend. I looked at the notes I wrote to myself at the top of my speech and when my turn came to stand up and share my speech with the conference I stood up, smiled and I took a step.
(The official video from the conference has not been shared yet. I asked a friend to tape my speech for me. I couldn’t wait to share it with my family and friends)
Here is to a new school year full of fun and challenges and potential and adventure and…EVERYTHING!! I can’t wait to see where it takes us!