Saturday, March 30, 2013

Can I do it? Yes, I can!

So I’ve been somewhat quite here the last few weeks on the blog. I’ve put everything including this blog on the back burner for two weeks in order to focus all my nervous energy toward the Business Plan Competition I entered. Today was the first round of the competition. Lucky for me, I was one of the first to pitch to my panel of judges. As I write this first paragraph I have yet to know if I survived and made it to the finals, which will be on May 3rd.

I’m sitting here on the CSU Monterey Bay campus waiting till 1:30pm for the announcement.

I had written about how nervous I can get here. For this... my nervousness started 8 days prior to the competition day. With a ball of fuzzy in my chest. I spent most of my time reading over my 5 minute pitch and trying to get it memorized. I would wake up in the morning feeling nervous and at times during the days and when I would go to sleep at night. The big “ugh” was when I started breaking out in the worst pimple fest in over 10 years. I even popped one this morning. The day before the competition (yesterday) I felt ok. I finished getting the car ready (gas), quarters (parking), and went to Target and Kohl’s and bought new clothes for the pitch. I got really happy at Target when I tried on the pants and they fit and they were a size 6!! I ran through the pitch a lot that day and evening. I couldn’t sleep however. But I knew that would happen. I maybe got 3 hours of shut-eye.

I got there 45 minutes early. I signed in at 9:30. I was scheduled to pitch at 10:30. They called me at 10:05 and said will you be ready at 10:15? Uh, ok. They were running ahead of schedule. I was actually done and out by 10:30. I got really nervous just before I walked in the room. There were four judges, all male. I had met one of them earlier during a workshop for this competition. I stumbled a bit and skipped a bit, but I think I got my points across and got some head nodding and raised eyebrows and even some smiles out of those dudes. I felt good about how it turned out. No matter if I make it to the next round, it was good to go through the experience.

During the week leading up to this, I kept thinking about how people can get up and do this all the time. And how performers can do what they do in front of an audience. It certainly isn’t in my wheelhouse. I’m actually surprised I haven’t completely broke down and gone into full panic attack mode. There has only been one time in my life that I was ever unable to perform. And it was when I was maybe 14 and was to play the piano for the church offertory. The previous time I did the offertory, I did horribly but trudged through it and finished. The Pastor had stopped me from leaving the platform after and said to me and everyone in attendance that he was proud of me for finishing that and asked me to replay that particular song the next time I was up in the offertory rotation. By then I was crying and just nodded my head. I just wanted to disappear. I went back and practiced and a few months later I was up in the rotation. During the service I was getting really nervous and actually started shaking and crying. Bless my mother, she asked if I wanted to NOT do the offertory and I nodded. She got up and told my piano teacher who helped lead the music for the church that I wasn’t going to do it. She then let me leave and go home.

I’ve seen people go into full on panic attack and it isn’t pretty. I came to realize yesterday that I can do this. I won’t panic. And that I can do anything I put my mind to. I may not do it well, but I can do it! Just look at this.

When I went to New Zealand in 2009, I signed up with two other REI trekkers to do the Canyon Swing. I think that was the most nerve racking thing I have ever done previously or since, including today! Hopefully you can see the video. If you watch closely and listen closely you can see my legs shaking and my voice quiver. They were not going to push me off the edge. I was going to have to do it. I lingered for quite a bit. I thought about backing out while I was standing there. But I did it. I made myself go over the edge. And what an experience it was. Total fear and then total exuberance and bliss. Pure adrenaline. It was an amazing experience.

So if I can get myself to go over a cliff while in total fear of my life, I can certainly give a five minute pitch. And that realization is what got me through yesterday, last night, and today. I still don’t know if I made it through to the next round of the competition, but man, I am extremely happy right now.

*I didn’t make it to the finals. I was bummed. I really wanted to make it. But I understand that even though I can get up and pitch, doesn’t mean I am good at it. I know it is not a strong suit of mine. I am waiting on feedback from one of the judges. I am curious as to if I didn’t get to go on because of how I presented or the actual content of what I said. I’ll let you all know, when I do.

Again, thank you to all of you who prayed, thought of me, sent me texts, gave me words of encouragement, sent good vibes, etc. Even though I was standing alone up there, you were all with me. So thank you. Truly.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Show me... sentimental object

This weeks “show me” was hard. I don’t tend to have sentimental attachments to things. At first I was going to use my old grey sweatshirt.

It is ragged and falling apart, full of stains and holes. But it is comfy. It is still my favorite sweatshirt. It used to be my sister’s and nephew’s favorite sweatshirt as well. All three of us would wear it. But if it finally disintegrates or I finally throw it away, I will not feel sad. I don’t need a funeral for it. So although it is my favorite sweatshirt, it is not precious to me or hold sentimental value.

So then I thought, my laptop.

I love my laptop. I live on my laptop. I am online... a lot! It holds all my music and pictures and everything I’ve written. It is my lifeline to all my friends, since none of them actually live in the same town as me. But then, this past Tuesday night, it crashed. I had to take it to the Mac geeks at the Apple Store in Los Gatos on Wednesday. It had a faulty wire cable in the hard drive. Worst case scenario was going to be replacing the hard drive and loosing everything I had on the laptop. Because stupid me, hasn’t backed it up... ever. It’s still under a year old. So I lived without my laptop for two days. I’ve lived without it just fine for much longer. And although I missed not checking Facebook 8 times a day, or Twitter, or surfing, or online stalking I survived just fine. I actually got other stuff done, like mowing the lawn and vacuuming my room and hallway. I didn’t loose anything on my laptop, thankfully and it is now backed up, thank you very much. But again, I wasn’t really worried about loosing stuff. Most of it is backed up elsewhere. Sure I would have lost a few photos, and my book inventory for The Shop, but I would have survived. I’m not attached to the laptop itself, only what it allows me to do and what it holds within it. It allows me to “visit” my friends who are spread across the country. So the actual laptop itself, I have no real attachment to. It does not hold sentimental value to me.

So what does?


Actual physical places.

The fact that I can go see places such as Mount Cook in New Zealand.

The Pacific Ocean (Maui)

Forests (Yosemite)

Deserts (Victorville)

And all the places I haven’t seen yet. Each place is special in some way. Each place effects my physical and emotional states. If I was unable to travel to the ocean, forest, etc, I would be very unhappy. I would survive, but it wouldn’t be a happy existence. So the actual freedom to see nature is sentimental to me.

So is the Earth as my sentimental object considered cheating?

Check out all the other Show Me participants here!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Show me your... Mailbox

This weeks Show Me is.... my mailbox. tada!

It is your standard basic mailbox. Was attached here on the house when we moved here. So I didn't pick it out. Not that I would have picked anything different if there was no mailbox.

Anyway, usually gifts are delivered to said mailbox. Most are unwanted. Especially by the dog.

But sometimes, special things are found in it. Like letters from Grandma, post cards from friends in far away places, and the Friday paper that we don't pay for but keeps showing up anyway!

The link to our Show Me Project host

Monday, March 4, 2013

Show Me Your... Table

Here's my Table. It's an animal. See? It has claws! rawr
And it likes to eat lots of things. See?
Sometimes we eat on it, but usually it houses all these things and laundry, or the sowing machine, or sister's work, or random project. And about once a week, it gets cleared for playing cards.

If you're wondering why I'm writing about my kitchen table, it's because I'm participating in a "Show Me" project. Here is the link to our Host, and where you can find all the other participants. Next week, I'll be showing you something else. Stay tuned.