I've Crossed Giving a TED Talk Off My Life List


I wrote a life list last October. It was the kind of life list where I threw on everything from the small (#58's "hold a live chicken") to the fantastical (#100's "invent a self-cleaning house"), and I wasn't going to stress myself out if I never got to complete #29's "witness the ins and outs of a crematorium". I decided that any item crossed off the list would be a victory had and not sweat the rest.

The thing is, though, words are powerful. Capital-P Powerful. POWERFUL. When you say things you truly desire out loud, they often find a way of being born.

See, when I say stuff like that, I kind of want to roll my eyes and kick myself in the groin, because I sound like I should be weighing my sensitivity to one crystal over another in a hippy witch shop listening to gregorian chanting and inquiring about the quality of their nag champa back in girl-powered 1993, but, the thing is, it's true. Words, when written or said out loud, make things happen.

#80 on my life list, "deliver a TED talk", was supposed to be one of the fantastical ones. I live in Regina, Saskatchewan. I wasn't even in a location where those things happen. And I'm me. I don't deliver TED talks.

Well, #80 happened. It actually happened. I got the call and started preparing in late April, and on Wednesday I stood on that red square of carpet pictured above and talked about self-doubt and the power of personal narrative.

This is me five minutes before I left the house on Wednesday morning to go to TEDxRegina as a speaker:

dressed for TEDxRegina

My body was a live electrical hum all day, and I went out of body during my talk and listened like an extra audience member where I heard myself throw out half my talk and ad lib like a mad person, so I can't really tell you how the day went yet, but I think it went well.

It's hard to tell. This was the first time I have stood in front of a group of people alone to deliver a talk since at least 1989. People who were in kindergarten then are billionaires now. That talk I gave 23 years ago was about Shakespeare's MacBeth, I think, and I delivered the speech through the mouthpieces of two plastic spoons I dressed up in miniature capes while I hid behind my English teacher's desk.

This time, I left the spoons at home, though, and it felt incredible.

I Love You So Much That I Might Die Alone

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