Earlier today, I asked the guy I’m seeing, “What did we do Friday night?”
He said, “Um… You presented in front of 800 people at Ignite.”
Everyone, I promise I only had one glass of wine after the event…
Ignite Phoenix was just that much of a blur!
The whole experience was amazing. The crew running Ignite Phoenix are total professionals. Their commitment to and excitement for this project, and to building a culture of passion in the Phoenix area, is positively inspiring. The other presenters totally wowed me. Most importantly, it has to be said that it was impossible to be scared in front of such a supportive audience. For them, I am eternally grateful.
As for those fated five minutes? The best part of the night was definitely the moment I stepped on stage. Nothing really mattered after that.
A few years ago, my life was nothing like it is now. I say this a lot but every few weeks something happens that shines a spotlight on the fact that you really can create life on your own terms, if you put your mind to it. In 2006, I did not really have any close connections. I did not fit in with any group. I was not my ‘real self’ and I had no idea what she looked like in the presence of other people. It was all tightly packed away…
Stepping outside of the tiny, anxiety-muddled world in which I used to exist was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was done in small steps and tiny twirls but looking around at what has been made possible through a handful of warm hearts and technology, it is impossible for things to feel impossible. Also, it is by no means finished. When things get crappy, or it’s cold outside, I really want to lay in bed and hide, too. If anybody says they do not experience this, they’re lying. It can’t all be unicorns and glitter all the time!
Through work relationships, Geek Girls activities, shared passions, chance encounters, dates that turned into friendships, and friendships that turned into dates… life has been made worthwhile because of the people who have chosen to take that chance right alongside me.
The call-to-action of my presentation was to tell the people that you love that you love them. There is no need to wait. I try to verbalize or communicate my feelings for people every time I see them. Through hugs or “dropping in” to be present or by listening. I’m not the best at it, and I often fail, but when it matters it REALLY MATTERS. I like to think that’s why, when I came on stage Friday, the love coming at me from friends (and totally random strangers who are just that cool) was startling. If I had not been so nervous, I might have cried…
From there, it did not matter how I said what I had to say because I already felt it coming back to me tenfold.
Thank you to everyone who supported me on Friday and who supports me all the other days. Thank you for being part of the blur. I love you.
(And Happy Valentine’s Day!)