Not that I could even tell it was Texas, being stuck in the hotel for the most part, except that people were extremely nice and smiley, and had that cool accent.
So I gave my presentation and it went fine. Rehearsal was worse than the actual “show.” It’s quite one thing to be in my room and practicing, and quite another to be on stage with a microphone and people watching.
As I was rehearsing, I forgot a detail and completely blanked, and had to stop and look at my notes. It was so embarrassing, especially with my boss there. To assuage my worries, I went through it again quickly at the end after everyone else was done, and that time I remembered everything.
I decided not to worry about the details, that people wouldn’t be able to tell if I forgot something, and that if I blanked, just to move onto the next slide. Still I was pretty anxious. Although I’ve presented before, I haven’t in this venue, not with all the senior leadership from our group there.
People ask me why I get so freaked out. Mostly because I’m usually presenting someone else’s stuff, someone else’s project that I’m learning about on the fly. When it’s something that I’ve been directly involved in, I can basically talk off the top of my head.
Also, where I work is very corporate. Appearances are a big deal, and whenever I go to these meetings, I feel like people are looking at me like what are you doing here? Who are you? People are nice but only up to a certain extent. It’s like they can sense that you don’t 100% belong and put up this wall.
Only in the past year has my own team taken down that wall. I’m not sure why it is. My knowledge is limited. I know the hell out of process, execution, and operations, but less on content (and could care less to tell the truth). It’s the same attitude to people who are actually in operations, but then at least operations people will give each other respect.
Another reason I love the writing/literary world so much. It’s okay to be different and socially awkward – in fact, it’s expected. Literary readings and lectures and discussions are the antidote to my corporate day job.
Anyway, I knew I wasn’t going to sleep well that night, and I figured, What’s the big deal, one night of bad sleep. Still I popped a couple of Unisom, which makes me drowsy the next day, but I sort of needed that to help stay calm.
Unisom is so weird. Whenever I take it now, I find I wake up in the middle of night, drenched in sweat. I don’t know why that is but it can’t be good. Also of course it’s very dehydrating.
Those couple of hours before I went on were so nerve racking – and would have been even more so if I weren’t still zonked on the sleep aid. Reminds me of when I was a kid and had to do a piano recital every year, and the few times I had to do speeches in school. At those times, being nervous beforehand was just a given, but now for some reason I’m more conscious about it, and think that I shouldn’t be this nervous, which makes things worse.
Anyway, so my presentation itself was okay. I made a couple of jokes, which people actually laughed at, but I still felt nervous and feel like I came off that way. I stumbled a few times, but everyone does, so I’m not worried about that. I find it’s best just to stumble and move on quickly, not linger over it, calling attention to it, and I didn’t blank at all. Yay!
People were very supportive afterwards, but what else are they gonna say? That I sucked? Only one person seemed sincere, at least to my suspicious self, this VP who doesn’t know me at all so that was cool.
Another way I could tell it was Texas? At least three barbecue restaurants at the airport. But then I went and ate at Burger King.
~ ~ ~
In other news, I’ve put up a personals ad on another site, one that I’ve tried before but didn’t like because everyone – at least those who contacted me – seemed much older than what I was looking for and not as alternative/artsy as I like. So that’s why I went over to the site where H. and I met. But I got too ahead of myself, as I tend to do, and signed up for six months, so I guess I need to stick it out till then.
It’s been one week and I’ve gotten several winks and a couple of messages. No one seems appealing to me. The majority are well over 40 – one 52-year old! – which is my cut off age, as indicated in my ad. I mean, it would make a difference if it was a cool 40+ year old, not someone whose profile pic looks like a school portrait, complete with suit and tie. With the other site, you can block people who don’t match your preferences. Unfortunately, you can’t do that with this site.
You can also see who has looked at your profile; again, unlike the other site, you can’t control whether or not someone can see that you’ve looked at their profile. Two guys who I was in contact with last time looked at my profile – one of whom I went out on three dates with! (The other bailed on me at the last minute.) Did he not recognize me? They were extremely platonic dates but still.
Oh, and that consultant was not at the meeting in Texas. Boohoo.