Are You READY for My Ted Talk?
I wasn't!!! Kind of.
Mahalo Dearest Postmate,
I’m writing this edition of The Writer Gal Letter listening to, apropos, Valkyrie by Battle Tapes (a Lucifer soundtrack pick) with the BIGGESSSSSTTTT grin on my goofy face. Because, Postmate, IT IS HERE!!!!
The Ted Talk is here. I know I should tell you a freaking story about it and there is a story here but first things first! Click on the shiny pink button below and hear the TALK!
Done with watching? Still reading?
I really REALLY want you to write back and tell me how you found the talk.
Before we go any further, here’s my first media mention of the year. Where they picked your Writer Gal to be profiled - along with my own quote and everything. As a former journalist, I have to tell you, this is a HUGE deal! Quotes are prime-real estate. Sort of like book covers and reviews. So this feels like an extra dollop of validation and good vibes. :d
The TED Talk Story
This weekend (the link came on Friday night IST) was spent feeling all the feelings. Pride. Nervousness. Euphoria. Catharsis (HUGE relief, basically) and a million other feels I can’t possibly share in one edition. But, this is the thing I want to tell you about my experience of doing the talk.
Before I stepped foot on that stage, even during the rehearsal, I was a mess of nerves and anxiety and just all the negative feelings in the world. I felt like I did not deserve to be on that podium, amongst all the accomplished and super-badass, amazing, and brilliant people. In fact, Navneet Kaur, one of those brilliant speakers and owner of a sweet business here in India, told me, very kindly, “Don’t have any more coffee. You’re vibrating!”
In short, I felt less than.
But, Lokesh Nathany - the most patient and kindest of organizers - had told me on day one that once I get up on the stage, once I give that speech (which I learned by heart on the freaking day of the event!!!) I would be changed. Altered. I’d not be the same person coming down.
And, he was right.
The slightly wary, infinitely small Aarti who stepped on the stage and stood on the TED Red Dot was not the same woman who came down. With each word, each ridiculously flailing hand gesture, the eye roll and smiles, with each passing minute, I changed. Altered. Grew taller and stepped into the version of both the storyteller and the story-liver! (TM Aarti V Raman)
And you know what it did? It made me accept who I am IN THAT MOMENT, in all my mess and glory. I’d done some pretty insane things true but I’d also weathered a crap amount of storms. And that was just the PG-rated, condensed 20-min version of my story!
Someone very wise (okay, me!) said, “First you resist. Then you accept. Then you grow. Then you become.” Pre-TED I spent all of my time resisting. Reality. My feelings. My body. My head. Just a ton of things.
AT TED, I accepted. Me. As I was.
And now? I OWN my growth. I am hopeful. I am striving. And I do not let momentary setbacks deter the eventual journey I am damned well and good going to take you on, Postmate.
I know you’re thinking, “Wow, she is on some happy juice!” And yes, it is definitely heard-earned, happy juice every day now.
But, this is always my endeavor, a mission of storytelling and a personal promise to you - I will always try and give you the most authentically me. In my stories, in my communication, and elsewhere. Most of all, I want to serve you the hope and promise of a better future.
Because, and this is my takeaway from my Ted Talk - I made it to a better future. I know you will, too.
This is all I have for today, Postmate. I’ll write in super soon with more bookish news and SO MANY MANY developments I cannot wait to share with you.
Till then, stay safe and awesome.
Dear Aarti: I just finished watching your TED talk and I have a mixed bag of comments. First, your message was very important and very interesting to me--there have been a number of creative things I have wanted to do and I allowed others to tell me what the limits of my capabilities were, to my sorrow. Your story of emerging as a writer and taking control of your own decisions even in the face of near-crippling feelings of inadequacy is an incredible testament to the power of self-acceptance and having a driving goal to sustain you in your struggles to reach your dreams. I wish I had heard your words years ago. There will always be writers or dancers or bakers or whatever, who seem to be more accomplished than you, but each and every one of them (if they are honest) would like to be better at what they do than they are now, and they probably study and train and do whatever they can to improve their work. That is all that you can do, just keep trying to be the best you can be. You are evidently going great guns at being a writer! One thing I wanted to mention that you might consider. You were speaking very fast for all but a few sentences of your talk, and it was rather difficult for me to understand what you were saying. You might consider slowing down your speech a little. You might think you sound like you are saying one word a second, but by just slowing down about 1/4, you will be much easier to understand and you will also sound more confident, sure of yourself, and comfortable with your audience and your subject matter. I intend to replay the TED talk to see if I can pick up more, since there are still things I would like to accomplish and I think your words could help me. I love your enthusiasm and eagerness to help, and I wish you all the best in your writing career. I send you a garden of wonderful story ideas ready to be picked year 'round, and a pool of crystal thinking you can dip into anytime you wish, and both these will be kept safe in your mind for instant access whenever you need them. Love to you from Carolynn at email@example.com