When Storytelling and Truth Collide
TEDx Cherry Creek was amazing! It was inspiring, captivating, humbling and memorable. I feel a tight bond with everyone who shared that stage with me.
I walked into TEDx the morning of the event feeling sound. I had practiced my story several times in front of numerous people and I intentionally did my final practice gathered around friends and neighbors from the very neighborhood from which my family and I had fled; I told them my story one last time before taking the TEDx stage. Their warmth, support, and cheers brought my preparation for the TEDx stage feel complete.
As showtime approached, I was worried that my commingled feelings of excitement and fright might make me too emotional to give the rock-solid performance I was determined to give. I believe my story is powerful, but it is filled with painful memories that at times trigger a swell of emotions. Sometimes, I can tell my story without a wince, and sometimes I find myself in tears – re-living those powerful memories. I never quite know what to expect but I will never stifle the emotion.
On top of all this, I didn’t know how the audience, or the world, would respond to my story. Would they hear my plea for dialogue and discussion? Extremists had done such a good job hijacking my narrative once before. But now, I felt emboldened to share the truth. I knew that it was my time to share my story and my experience—and no one was going to get to stop me.
When it was time, I was nervous but ready. As I look back on my experience on stage, I felt emotional but grounded. I could feel the energy from the audience in front of me and since that moment, I have continued to feel such overwhelming support and an enormous appetite for discussion from friends and strangers alike.
What I have enjoyed most about my TEDx experience and from writing my book, The Real Cost of Fake News, has been understanding that when storytelling and truth fall in line it becomes such a cathartic experience. I am excited and hopeful for what is to come. I believe hard conversations will be had and our communities will come together and engage in these difficult dialogues. Because when we open ourselves up to difficult conversations, we tend to find a piece of common ground and shared human experiences from which we can build.
[Watch her TEDx Talk here: https://youtu.be/CSrfNOZlymw]