I was the geeky, weird kid with glasses who sat alone on the playground, head buried in a book, too unsure and shy to play with the more socially astute kids. In many ways, despite all I’ve accomplished as an adult, I’m still that kid. Especially when I put myself into uncertain situations like a conference.
There are lots of people I don’t know but want to talk with about their ideas and mine. But that little kid in me wants to disappear into the wall or get busy with my smartphone. My blood rushes in my ears as I hear awkward words tumble from my mouth. I mentally slap flat hand to forehead.
Conferences also include listening to people speak. I love hearing stories but after awhile, all the words and everyone’s energy starts to feel like static.
So I ducked out.
The critic in my head growls at me for stepping away in the middle of a pretty cool event and snaps at my self esteem threatening a massive shame avalanche.
But during this conference of misfits, I’ve heard that the answer to problems is to create. To live intentionally. To take risks that could change my life or even the world. That deep learning comes from reflection. That you need to do the drudge work, get your butt in the chair and write. To get your art, your story, your work out there.
So during my rejuvenation time away from the conference , I reconnected with a poem I created maybe 20 years ago. She’s grown a little since then so I trimmed her up and offer this little piece of my body of work to you.
like the little girl scrunched
on the hard step
of an old school stairway
used to do.
to invest in stillness
in a crack of cement.