TEDx and Living Up to Everyone Else’s Expectations
It is hard trying to describe being excited, shocked, jumping for joy, perplexed and completely overwhelmed at the same time! When talking about TEDx to others, especially when they scream for joy and pepper the conversation with “congrats” and “so proud of you,” all I can do is muster the shuffling look of a 4-year-old meeting adults for the first time. I quietly stare and give the oddest shy smile.
At times it is hard to admit that this is probably the most challenging experience I have ever had in my life. It sounds like it should be simple, but the TEDx name comes with so many expectations that I question whether I can live up to the hype. Friends and peers were the first to jump when the tickets went on sale. I have requests from parents of young girls in STEM wanting a copy of the video. I am getting emails asking how exactly did I land this gig. With each call, each “you got this”, each hug with a tear, each text of OMG… the pressure mounts and mounts.
In the end, I guess I would not have it any other way. I think we wait a lifetime for a moment that stretches us mentally. We hear the clichés and read the memes of how you only grow outside of your comfort zone and it is true. As a self-proclaimed high functioning introvert, and someone who lives on the shy side every now and then, I seem to have a knack for tossing myself out of my comfort zone on a regular basis. I have presented on nearly 100 stages. Performed in front of thousands of people. I am sure there will be even more moments like this, but right now… this is whole a lot of fun!