Friday, September 17, 2010

Moments from hitting the road

According to Mapquest my trip will be 6 hours and 44 minutes. Typically a trip like this would elate me, but right now I feel sluggish. Normally I would have had everything packed and ready to go last night, but I didn't have the energy.

What's going on? The same thing that always happens when one thing dominates my thoughts. I am so excited, nervous, and anxious for the panel I will be on with Temple Grandin on October 2nd that my mind is traveling at a speed that makes everything else harder.

What is my mind doing? I have started my eight minute talk in my head at least 1,000 times now with no clear cut winner as to what I will say. I'm sure anyone, if they have an event like the one I will have, will be a bit nervous, but for me my mind has gone into hyper-drive and will not yield to anything else.

Is this normal? 100% yes! Last year when I had my presentation at the Missouri NEA Conference I had the same emotions beforehand. That was just ten months ago, yet with all the presentations I have done it seems like it was at least a decade ago.

What can be learned from this? I had this same problem in school, and actually have had this problem anytime there was something out of the norm in the near future. School projects, such as a diorama, or a big writing project (believe it or not I hated to write when I was in school) would see me get sluggish and snippy. In other words, and this is probably obvious, anytime something new, and possibly important, is on the horizon the chances for this feeling go up.

"But aren't you excited at this chance?" you may ask. Oh, most certainly! It's just that emotions and the processing of them take their toll. You know that feeling on a roller coaster as the cars are going up at a slow pace and the anxiety of the impending drop? It sort of feels like that, but I never get to the drop and I stay on that uphill slope with the emotions staying with me. Over time it just wears on a person.

Does it get better? Once a task is completed, like my first presentation last year, each presentation afterwards becomes easier and easier. I no longer have adrenaline shoot through my system before a presentation. It feels natural now. This upcoming one is different because it is a panel, but also I don't think the panel could be any bigger in terms of who is on it.

There should be a break from the emotions this weekend as I travel to Columbus, Ohio to flag the USAC Quarter-Midget race there. This is the same series you may have read about that took place during my Sunglasses Experiment and I am so thankful to be able to work with them again.

Should anything happen on my drive, or if I have any thoughts that deserve writing I will be updating my blog this weekend so long as the hotel has Wi-Fi. Speaking of hotel, I better find the address of where I am going. See, the old me would have had that printed and programmed into the GPS days ago.

1 comment:

  1. My first presentation with Michael had that same feeling, too. I had lots of jitters, but he made me feel at ease. My own panel discussion experience two months later was a little nerve wracking, too... as I had to present in front of 200-300 people. For someone who only did conference presentation for the 2nd time, that was very anxiety provoking. On top of that, OT experts on autism were in the audience... as well as an occupational therapist from my internship site. That said, I conquered my fears... as I recalled my experiences with the microphone when I presented with Michael and I had an idea of what a panel discussion was like when I was part of the audience before prior to that point.