12 / by vanessa

Happy Birthday Tera!!! Sister I miss you.

Boy I bit it at a meeting today. It went in a completely different direction than I had planned, according to the meeting agenda that I'd prepared based on very little background. You know how sometimes you have those moments where you are in a situation and everything is turned upside down, yet you have the presence of mind to navigate the landscape with agility and poise? That wasn't me. At all.

I heard my voice shaking a little and making statements that sounded like questions. Oh it was painful. I was working with little and yet I couldn't pull it off. I remember sitting in the meeting and thinking: you have everything you need, just relax and still I didn't. When it was over one of my company's principals who sat in on the meeting was really gracious about it when I expected him to say how bad I did -- instead he just gave me a few coaching points.

So a couple of observations on the other side of it:
1. It felt like a risk publishing the agenda in advance. I hadn't been able to connect w/ the other business owners (sorry for all this business speak) prior to the meeting so with not much information or background, I was worried that I might be off on the items. But, I thought it better to attempt something than to show up unprepared. And in the end, even though it was completely off, I'm still glad that I did it. Granted a mis-directed, one hour meeting about anti-piracy data is not a risk along the lines of say, getting married or Russian roulette (and I recommend neither), but it's a risk nonetheless, and it's better to take risks and deal w/ the consequences than to sit in your armchair eating Pirate's Booty. (Aside: In retrospect there were things I could have done differently with the agenda itself but I'm not really writing about a freakin' agenda anyway.)

2. Gandhi shook when he gave his very first speech in South Africa. He couldn't even read it - he had to have someone else read it. Sure, his life was in danger, and mine wasn't, exactly, but I am not in the practice of letting details derail me from my soapbox: Doing what feels scary at whatever level, gets easier, because fearlessness is a practiced trait. Jon Stewart underscores my point perfectly, thank you, in his interview w/ Maureen Dowd in the latest Rolling Stone. Stewart is talking about why it's easy being a comedian, and for his wisdom he could just be the Gen X mahatma (you get the picture). He says: "...[W]e as comedians understand...you bomb one night, you go on the next night and you do a little better."

So I get up and I do a little better and gradually I feel less embarassed to speak, and less afraid of sounding stupid, and then with all of that fear moved out of the way, I'll have room to just allow. Sounds hack but I am constantly reminded of how true it is that it's not about not falling - it's about trying and getting back up.

Renee Dr. Dre is getting minor surgery in two weeks and her mom's coming out to visit for 5 days. I was going to take my hand at playing nurse, but I think her mom observed the health of our plants on her last visit and has decided that she'd like to see her daughter turn 31. It's just as well.