Updated: Nov 21, 2019
For those who know me, I love to go on passionate tangents. For the last few months, people have been randomly saying to me, “You should do a TED talk.” It was an uncanny phenomenon. Of course I’d dreamed of it but didn’t know how go about such a thing. Then a couple months ago searching for opportunities on the GCAC website, I saw TEDxColumbus was holding auditions! They were approaching very quickly and I had nothing prepared. Side note: My whole life rejection has been my kryptonite. This year has been an emotional roller coaster bc I’ve intentionally put myself out there over and over. So in the spirit of continuing that trend I figured…I should just do it! At least I’ll learn more about what it takes and grow, right? So I went. And as I watched each applicant perform their idea live, I thought to myself…I have ideas just as great…I might actually have a chance! The whole thing was an amazing experience for me. I felt God’s presence and could sense He was proud of me for putting myself out there. That was success enough for me, I told myself. I tried not be anxious for their response. I knew it would be a MONTH before I’d find out! Then…I saw TEDx in my inbox and braced myself….talking myself through how I would react no matter what. And LO and BEHOLD, I got REJECTED. All of the feels I swore I wouldn’t feel involuntarily crashed into my body like a wave. Sigh… Ok, I told myself… You tried. You never have to feel this again. “Welp, God I did my part!” 5 minutes later… a panel of friends’ advice and others’ testimonies began to sound off in my mind. I resolved to try again…maybe after a few months once I recover.
A week or so later I went to a gathering called The Big Table Talk to support another colleague doing great things in the city. I just wanted a break from the hustle and desired be more involved with people in the community, take a few steps back.
It was refreshing to share in discussions with no pressure or the allure of a public platform. The subject of trauma, mental health and the creative arts came up and I naturally shot off my two sense. “That sounds like a TED talk!” There it was again - 2 women echoing that taunting suggestion. But …. this time I responded, “Haha! Nope! Funny story, see... I tried that and got REJECTED. So…Yea, guess not!” To which one of the women matter-of-factly retorted, “So? Try again…”
“Sigh…I will eventually”
“No… do it now. You can even use the video from your last live audition to submit online..” Wow, no excuses. What could it hurt? Other than my already bruised ego. So I submitted it online. Forgot about it. Weeks later I was headed to an eye appointment at Walmart when a notification from TEDx hit my inbox. Meh… maybe they are offering a discount to attend their upcoming event, I thought.…kinda like when nice restaurants send you a free meal card to thank you for applying when you don’t get hired on. I opened it, saw the word "Congratulations" and could barely contain myself. After thoroughly reading it a few times, I had a praise break in the Walmart parking lot jetting into the eye place.
I thank God for not letting me give up and showing me that I am capable of so much more if I just stay faithful. And oh yea…when I attended a recent TED talk, I recognized the founder speaking on stage… It was the woman who told me, “Do it now.” #mindblown #grace #mercy #favor #praise #stayfaithful #persevere #Youneverknowwhoiswatchingyou #Godisworkingwhenyoucantsee #nevergiveup God reminded me in real time that it’s nothing for Him. I also know I am nothing apart from Him. I’m so glad to know that He is the one working on my destiny and is way better at it than I am. It allows me to focus on what’s truly important. I’m going to do my best on that stage, but at the end of the day, I just wanna grow. Rejection is painful. And so is failure. But when identity is the goal, as long as we are growing in that, we are already successful. And I’ll say that over and over again. So I’m gonna talk passionately like I often do, and perform a piece you might have heard, but this time on the TEDxColumbusWomen’s stage. To God be the glory!