Falling off the cliff…

Last night I saw a tweet on my dash that Sarah Jackson was looking to speak to someone who receives healthcare from Planned Parenthood. I sent her an email and we had a phone discussion last night. I was then booked to appear on this afternoon’s HuffPost Live segment, Women’s Health Cliff. I have never been on camera in my life. Nor do I do any public-speaking. It’s why I write, why I make art, and why I like Twitter. Speaking in front of people has never been something I enjoyed. However, I figured this was for a great cause, and it was simply something I felt I had to do.

I had to scramble a bit to get a webcam that had a decent picture, headphones since my ear buds wouldn’t work on the home PC, and was unable to use my MacBook due to a software issue. So after all the running around to get ready, there I was (embedding currently not working, will try to correct this later).

It’s like nails on a chalkboard for me to watch it myself. I say way too many “ums” and that is something I clearly have to work on. My voice was shaky too. My nerves were quite high for someone sitting in the comfort of her own home. Part of it was the public-speaking bit, the other was being in the presence of some amazing women. The other panel members included journalist Helaine Olen, “New Media Maven” Sandi Bachom, Vice President and Director of Family Economic Security at the NWLC Joan Entmacher, and president of NOW Terry O’Neill. Seriously, look at these women and tell me you wouldn’t be slightly intimidated to be included in a panel beside them. That being said, they were all very kind, I really had no reason to be shy or hesitant. I had a few further points to make which, because of nerves, I did not. I’ll be blogging those later.

Speaking out is something I’ve worked very hard on for the past few years. I am learning to stand up for myself and for others, and to say my piece, no matter how uncomfortable. Even though my nerves felt at times as if I was actually diving off a cliff, this was a great step forward for me in finding and sharing my voice.

Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.”

Maggie Kuhn