I have a chance to speak for a group of people in the near future about a topic you’d think I’d do well with: Women.
I LOVE women. Some of my best girlfriends are women. My mom is a woman. I am a woman. I’ve spent countless hours researching, rehearsing, rethinking and redoing an entire 30-45 minute presentation about women. And yet, my worst fear is that someone is going to figure me out. Someone is going to say, “No. There’s no way that’s right.” and then, I’ll be standing up there alone, completely alone, with nothing to say. Nothing on my mind, but shock and uncertainty. What if they think I’m a fraud?
No amount of preparation can take that haunting thought away. In fact, I’ve sort of been avoiding my prep time, in hopes that I will get past this negativitiy. In my mind, fear is prevalent. “Fraud. You are a fraud. What do you know? That doesn’t even make sense.” (I’m pretty hard on myself). I guess a lot of this uncertainty is that I’m telling stories in my presentation. Stories from my point of view, with my reactions and my observations. Like most of the stories I tell, no one will be there to chime in and say, “Yep, that totally happened.” It’s just me. In front of a bunch of men. Telling stories about me, a woman.
As the presentation date gets closer and closer, my anxiety heightens. I tell my friends, family, coworkers about my concerns and they nod and say “uh-uh.” They don’t know. They don’t know what it’s like to be up there. A known fraud. On stage.
Deep down I know it will be fine. Everything will work out fine. If I mess up, I’ll have support. I won’t crash awkwardly to the ground and skin my knee (like I did on Logan’s scooter). If history repeats itself, it will probably go quite well. I’m hoping history will repeat itself. I’m hoping the audience will feel educated, enlightened and entertained and never suspect that I’m really a fraud.