I return today to a familiar theme, that of facing and up to your demons. Well, yesterday saw one of my biggest rendered impotent and, as a result, the caged bird sang. Perhaps I should explain.
As those who’ve seem me speak, I’m not too bad at it. Phrases like ”inspirational, kept me captivated, honest and authentic, hypnotic and self effacing humour” have been used; words that have been extremely heartening. Yet speaking in front of my peers has always been problematic for me as has not having slides or a few prompt cards. Not important issues in themselves but the causes and results were. Just having the cards in my hand was like a comfort blanket; yet I knew that that same blanket hindered me and kept me to a script which itself held me back. I also knew that, when I did rise above that script, I was a better speaker.
Well, yesterday I gave talks to three groups of 16 year olds, probably 300 in all, on their career choices. It seems that my, rather chequered, career is likely to be more relevant to today’s young generation than the 16/65, one job careers of the past. The day didn’t start well. Up at 5.45 to get away for 6.40 so as to be their nice and early and relax before the start. I won’t go into detail but the journey on public transport from Camden to Hillingdon took an hour and three quarters and I got there just ten minutes before the off.
I did my two morning talks only to discover, at lunchtime, that I’d lost my glasses. In case you’re wondering, the prompt cards are printed in a large font so that I don’t need them. I don’t have a spare pair and need these for work so, not good. That only increased my anxiety. After lunch, I stood up to do my afternoon talk in a strange déjà vu mood. It was, however, a feeling whose roots I understand. So, what happened? Well I never looked at my notes once and performed as I’d long hoped that I might.
Who says that you can’t change? You can when you face up to your demons.
PS When I got to the tube station, some nice person had handed the specs in.