This has been one of the most nerve-wracking yet amazing things I have ever done.
Leading up to my talk, I had been feeling pretty good about it, yet still a little unprepared in the last week or so before it. The morning of my talk rolled around, I was feeling great, then all of a sudden we got into the car and I was said to my mom, “Nope. I can’t do this. I haven’t prepared enough and I don’t know what I’m doing. Let me out of the car.” But she locked the doors and drove my butt straight down to the event center, my nervous, nauseous, self sitting next to her, deeply regretting signing up for what I was about to do.

We finally got to the center after what felt like an eternity of panicking. It was quite cold that morning so once I stepped out into the fresh air I simultaneously completely freaked out from seeing the event center in front of me and relaxed from seeing some of the other presenter’s smiling faces. We stepped into the building and were greeted by a panicking Dafna and Michael then were lead to the “green room” where the presenters/entertainers got to hang out, eat, and chat. I felt great and all of my worries were forgotten when I got to spend some time with some of the others who I had really connected with.

But then 11:30 rolled around, about an hour before I was supposed to present. And a switch flipped. I once again started doubting my capabilities and regretting ever letting myself be in this position. I knew I was totally prepared, but that was not at all how I felt. When I was backstage, everybody else was practicing and that made me panic even more because I didn’t feel the need to practice, so I just sat there, twiddling my thumbs, watching everyone else pace the corridor and mouth their speech.

The first person went on stage and I was barely able to focus or hear her talking. I had realized that maybe I needed to start practicing my own speech so that’s what I was attempting to do. Then the second speaker went on and I heard snippets of hers, still trying to work on my talk. Then, it was my turn. Dafna and Christy introduced me and called me on stage. I walked out. The rest is a blur. I remember tripping up a few times and a couple lines of ad-libbing, but that’s about it. I finished, Dafna and Christy came back out, asked me a couple questions, and I wanted to sprint off the stage.

I felt so relieved. I had done a Tedx Talk! My mom came running backstage to congratulate me and I felt amazing. In looking back at all the work, preparation, stress and time I spent, I can honestly say this has been one of the most impactful and honoring experiences in my life and I will never forget it.

[You can watch her TEDx performance here: https://youtu.be/c_0dJJhIrSo]

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