I’m going to lean into vulnerability for just a moment.
Earlier today, I boarded a plane and took a deep breath. I knew that, as soon as I landed in Montréal, I would be hit by a wave of insecurities, anxiety, and fear. You should know, despite initially coming off as comfortable and confident in conference and large-group settings, I am actually typically living in a constant state of fear.
The anxiety is real. The fear of unpredictability is raw.
It wasn’t until I ran into an old friend from a job I held before graduate school that I realized this feeling was actually something others experience as well. In a sea of thousands of people, it’s not abnormal to experience this dissonance.
I received some needed peace in that quick conversation.
Night One of this current conference experience: I find myself nervous that everyone else came with someone else, and that capacity is limited. Even with thousands of attendees, conferences can be some of the loneliest spaces for young/professionals. Even with thousands of attendees, conferences can be scary oceans with every type of fish imaginable – feeling like the tiniest and most fragile fish in the sea is a heavy burden. As a reformed-extrovert living in a nervous state-of-mind, I’m forcing myself to swim. Swim fast. Swim intentionally. Just swim.
Tomorrow is a new day, and today is not yet over. Here’s to schedules and programs, here’s to structure. Here’s to confidence.
#ACPA16 in Canada – excited for the learning ahead!