Voices Of The Year – That time I said stuff in front of lots of people.

I made it to the little meeting room exactly one minute late.  I had tried my best to actually be early – but my swollen, pregnant feet would only carry me across the convention center so fast, and my squished bladder needed to be emptied once along the way.  I walked in and saw several ladies gathered around a round table.  Some were chatting, a couple were going over their printouts of what they were going to read.  I sat down next to the one person I knew from the day before.  There were quite a few nervous statements about feeling anxious.  I smiled… and nodded in agreement… and breathed….

I’m sure I forgot to introduce myself to every single person there.

I thought to myself, “Cheese – I’ll eat some cheese” as I started to make my way over to the side table to see if there was any.  I found none, and we were told it was time to go backstage.

So everyone stood…

and we walked…

to our seats backstage…

the fifteen of us…

the BlogHer ’11 Voices of the Year.

I was second to last, but I got so caught up in watching and listening to the other amazing bloggers that the waiting was less excruciating than I thought it would be.  I was fine… until right before I was to go on.

The woman before me, Bon Stewart, read an achingly beautiful piece.  But when a quarter of the way through we learn of her newborn not making it… I found myself clutching my belly.  I cried for the life she carried that was lost, and I whispered to the one growing in me.

Then panic set in.  This was poor planning!  Why send the pregnant mess of a lady out in front of hundreds of people right after she hears the heart and soul of a mother who has lost her baby?  How am I supposed to go out there as the humor blogger and make people laugh?  I couldn’t even see through the blurry hotness of my eyeballs.

I started thinking to myself, “What the hell am I doing here at all?”  “I should be holed up in my house like I have been for the past three years.”  “Is this one of those fucking dreams again?”

Then the curtains parted,  and I walked out and stood by the stairs to go up on stage.  I realized this wasn’t a dream, and as my introduction was ending, and I climbed the stairs… I peed a little.  I was pregnant.  I was prepared for that.

I walked up to that podium…

I took a deep breath…

and all of a sudden…

I felt home.

In a millisecond my past life came back to me.  The life of performing in front of thousands of people.  The life of applause.  The life before tragedy and trauma changed the very chemical makeup of my brain.  The life when I felt shiny.

It was just a reading.  There was no two hours of dialogue to learn.  There was no tricky choreography.  Just me… reading something I wrote… that other people thought was kinda funny…

It was the best.


I’m realizing that speaking in front of hundreds of people feels good to me.  It’s the small group settings and one on ones that will have me popping Xanax, but you know – baby steps.


PS- You can watch the whole event and other amazing speakers here:


17 responses to “Voices Of The Year – That time I said stuff in front of lots of people.”

  1. Noelle says:

    Um, you’re awesome.

  2. Sharni says:

    YOU ARE AMAZING. Wow, you write like a dream, and perform like one too. Very proud right now that you guest posted on my blog once — so glad you got to feel shiny!

  3. Minky {moo} says:

    I have to day that one of the reasons I was so sad not to be able to go to BlogGer this year was because you were reading!!! And honestly, as a fellow performer I think public speaking is harder! Give me a character and choreography to hide behind any day!
    You were/are amazing!

    • Jenni Chiu says:

      So true. Ask me to stand on a stage as myself, and you may have a wreck on your hands. Jazz hands make things easier. From now on, I shall end every speech with them.

  4. THANK YOU for posting the video. I was so sad about missing you give your presentation.You did wonderful and looked beautiful.
    P.S. I effing hate those damn automated systems. If it’s any consolation,AT &T has mad me cry on more than one occasion. XO

  5. Cj Lowder says:

    LOVED it!!! You were amazing!

  6. I am just like you.

    In front of people, not a sweaty palmed moment, BUT one one one? in a group?


    You killed, and you were wonderfully hilarious!

    And, of course, I told you already, but you blew humor right out of the water!

    So happy to know you!

  7. Alexandria says:

    you did a great job!

  8. Good for you. I love this recap of how it felt and wished I could have been there to hear it.

  9. Kimberly says:

    You did a great job! I’m so awkward in any social setting, one on one or a large group. I need to get over that!

  10. anymommy says:

    Perfection. I loved it live and I love it again here.

  11. Galit Breen says:

    Amazing. Pure amazing. Did I mention amazing yet?

  12. Marta says:

    That was hilarious. I have had similar conversations with Comcast but somehow they’ve convinced me to keep my cable and internet.

  13. Flawless Mom says:

    That was such an inspiring evening. And yes, I sobbed at Bon’s reading then literally cried with laughter at yours. It was a rollercoaster of emotions and it made me a fan of yours and reader of your blog. Bravo!!!

  14. […] I stood on that stage with swollen ankles, a fat baby in my belly, and spoke to thousands of people. Even though I peed my pants a little, it was one of the most amazing moments of my life. […]

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