I am a firm believer that life begins at the end of your comfort zone; that it is not a spectator sport and that one should go big or go home. I am also a firm believer in avoiding clichés like the plague.
This is why I'm absolutely qualified to talk about writing in front of a group of people — like I'm doing tomorrow night.
Courtesy of a gracious invitation from the Vale Club, I’ll be doing my first-ever speaking gig to present some of my blog posts and columns at an event that benefits FamilyPASS, an organization with which Vale Club is affiliated that helps local families in need.
Reading my columns in public is a definite stretch out of the comfort zone for this formerly shy person. (Aside: I first wrote that as “formally” shy. Apparently, I’m shy only when wearing ball gowns and tiaras. Casually? I’m the life of the party. Formally? A totally introverted, albeit well-dressed wallflower.)
In addition to being delighted to have a forum where I can read my work and help a great cause, what has been really gratifying about this opportunity is discovering how those who know and love me have rallied around me to celebrate.
When I told some of my closest friends about this speaking engagement, they were extremely supportive. And by that, I mean I received a continuous stream of e-mails with suggestions that included presenting my columns in Ethel Merman’s singing voice, with a ventriloquist puppet, or through the art of mime.
My mom asked if I was the only person presenting and when I answered in the affirmative, followed up with a confidence-boosting, "Really?"
Also on my side? My daughter. While I practiced part of my presentation out loud in the car while driving her to school recently, she asked politely after a few minutes, "Mommy? Can you please stop talking?" (However, she completely redeemed herself by laughing in all the right places a few days later when I did a read-through of some of my material.)
Although I am very excited for this, it will also be nice to have the nerves that are inevitably associated with doing something for the first time behind me. Once the presentation is over Thursday, I can relax and begin focusing on my next challenge.
Like finding some new friends.
This event is open to the public so please join us at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Vale Schoolhouse at the intersection of Fox Mill and Vale Roads. Requested donation of $10 benefits FamilyPASS.