This year I made a New Years Resolution. It was to Take part in a triathalon. I know. I'm actually laughing out loud while I'm typing this because that is so definitely NOT going to happen. Obviously I was quite drunk when this particular resolution was made.
Well, no worries. I've never been particularly into making resolutions anyway.
Today I volunteered as a mentor at a technology event here in St. John's (as a total aside, if you're a laaady in Canada and you're interested in any kind of code writing - even as simple as creating/editing a blog - then check out http://ladieslearningcode.com/ - they're pretty awesome).
Anyway, the whole event was very laid back. My role was to help out some of the participants with some basic code writing. I met some new people, learnt a few new techie things and was given a gift of chocolate for being a mentor. It was super chilled out.
But then... IT happened. I had to get up, in front of the whole room and ....
Talk About Myself
*cue dramatic music here*
I walked up to the front of the room, and stood there. I wasn't on my own, there were another 5 or 6 mentors up there as well, but the way I felt I could have been naked in front of a million people. I had to lean back on the table behind me so that I didn't fall over and then take deep breaths to stop myself from simultaneously throwing up and fainting. When it was my turn to speak, I blurted out a few things (I can't quite remember what I said, but I think some of it was totally made up), went bright red and then made a stupid face at the room while visibly shaking.
Or maybe not.
Some people are scared of spiders, other people the dark, some people are even scared of buttons (weirdo's). Being scared of public speaking is not that uncommon, and while it's not as ridiculous as wanting to hide from the buttons on the front of your shirt, it's still inconvenient and embarrassing.
So now I have a new resolution. To be able to stand up in front of a group of people and speak about anything as calmly and confidently as if I was speaking to myself in front of the mirror (which I never do - never never never *cough*). I'm going to seek out and attend some 'How to speak in public without wetting your knickers' courses and I'm going to stop living in fear.
I also have a back up resolution in case this one dies the same fate as the swimming/riding/running fantasy. I will "Become a Better Person". The great thing about this resolution is that you never specify exactly WHO you'll become a better person than. Of course it's implied that you'll better yourself, but at a pinch you can always say that you thought that you had to be a better person than a thief.