….pation!!! (Thank You Rocky Horror!)
“We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway, yay
And I wonder if I’m really with you now
Or just chasin’ after some finer day
Is makin’ me late
Is keepin’ me waitin'” – CARLY SIMON
Thanks a lot Carly Simon. I cannot get this freakin’ song out of my head! Ahhh! In less than 3 days, I will be standing before 750+ people in the legendary Florida Theatre talking about the very thing I talk about on here and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest and Tumblr and Reddit and EVERYWHERE UNDER THE SUN, EVERYDAY!!!
So why is the moment I’m most looking forward to the second I walk off the stage and know it’s done? I have been waiting for this moment for 4 months. It was in a hotel room in South Florida, training to be a NAMI Peer to Peer mentor, that I had this not-then-crazy idea of applying to be a TEDx speaker. After all, I LOVE TED TALKS! In my mind every conversation I have is a TED TALK, which I guess means the other person doesn’t get a word in, but still. For me, this is truly a dream come true. Something to cross off my bucket list. I cannot believe its 72 hours away. Where has the time gone? Am I prepared? Will I trip and fall on stage? Will I forget my entire talk? WHAT WAS I THINKING WHEN I SIGNED UP FOR THIS?
This would be SO MUCH EASIER if I could just sing the whole thing. I’m a trained singer. I can rely on my technique and hear every vocal coach’s voice in my head. Singing. I own it. Speaking? Ehhhh….Well, I speak everyday and I speak professionally. So why is this different??? Because it’s something I only ever dreamed of. I never thought that one day I would have the honor of being selected to not only give a TED TALK but to share my story with my city and the entire world via YouTube. I have a duty to my fellow mental health advocates to represent us and tell my story in a way that’s both empowering and proves that people’s idea of mental illness is mostly false. The weight of the world is on my shoulders and I put this weight there myself. I want my family and friends to be proud. I want my fellow mental health gurus to feel I did our field justice. I want my fellow mental illness survivors to feel they can take on anything including their own mental illness. And I want the people who don’t understand or fear mental illness to know the truth, to know it’s not scary, and to know that one day they too, can develop it.
I’d like to thank all the people who inspire me everyday: Carmen at I Still Matter, Chandler at Mind Over Music Movement, Bre at Active Mind UNF, Sarah at Stigma Fighters, Nicole, Mar and Rachel at I’m Not Ashamed, Aidan at End the Stigma, Des’ree at Live Through This, Jennifer at This is My Brave, Beka and Joe at Voices for Change, Jacob at No Stigmas, Ephrem at Elijah’s Journey, all my peeps at NAMI Jacksonville and my fellow NAMI Peer-to-Peer South FL training pals, my friends, my family, and the 3 little guys that make my story worth it! I know you guys will be cheering me on from your different cities, states, and countries.