Began nearly five years ago when I heard motivational speaker Les Brown say, “You have a story to tell and someone needs to hear your story.”
I knew I had a story – I just didn’t want to tell it. I wasn’t sure I could. For more than 20 years the bonds of shame, fear, and pain had kept me silent.
On August 14, 2013, six months after hearing Les Brown speak those fateful words, I found the courage and strength to share my story publicly for the first time. Since that day, I’ve watched, studied, and learned from TED and TEDx talks with the intent, hope, and dream of one day standing on a TEDx stage and offering my own “Idea Worth Sharing.”
On November 2, at TEDx Wilmington Women’s Conference, that dream became a reality. Like anything worthwhile in life, it wasn’t easy. I felt tremendous pressure to make every word impactful and I wanted to represent the TEDx Wilmington brand well. It’s a privilege and a responsibility to be given a platform to share an idea and place it in the minds of others.
It required seemingly endless hours of practice, preparation, writing and rewriting but it all became worthwhile when I stepped off that stage and a 15-year-old girl from the audience came up to me and shared how my presentation impacted her.
Because what happens to us in life isn’t what’s important. What’s important is what we do and who we become because of what happens to us. What matters is the rest of the story. I don’t share my story so anyone will feel sorry for me, I share it so that everyone can look at me and say, “If she can do it, so can I.”