Yesterday was one of the most, if not the most, embarassing days of my life. I had to speak at our local bar assocation’s Young Lawyers’ Bootcamp at the end of the day. I’ve known about it for a while and had prepared accordingly. What I was going to talk about wasn’t groundbreaking information, although electronic case filing procedures are quite important. But an hour before I was supposed to speak to them, it was determined that the technology I was relying on to demonstrate some key things to these young attorneys was not going to work how I needed it to.
So, with about 10 minutes to go before the attorneys arrived, I realized I would have to scale back my presentation. Shouldn’t be too difficult, I thought to myself: I know this stuff inside and out; I deal with it everyday; I train attorneys and their staff pretty consistently.
Both of our judges give their talk, then it’s my turn. I stand up in front of the group and it’s as if the wind has been knocked out of me. I can’t breathe, I stumble over my words, I start shaking, I can’t think. It was a mess. A total mess. And even though I felt like I was going to pass out right there on the spot, I also felt bad for the attorneys who had to sit there, a captive audience, and act like what I was saying was making sense. How horrible for them! After I was done, I put my tail between my legs, walked over to my chair and sat there through the rest of the presentations, mentally kicking myself over and over again.
After the entire thing was over, I slunk into a deep depression. Luckily, we only had five minutes of work left. I finished up for the day and gladly left work not long after 5 p.m. to go to my first Basic Photography class. All I wanted to do was run home to Tyler and have him give me a big hug, because that always makes me feel better, but instead, all I could do was call him. As I tell him what happened, I instantly start crying.
And after that, although I was experiencing some major sadness about how my workday ended, I remembered yet again why I love being married to Tyler. He is the most comforting, helpful person I know. He reassured me that it wasn’t as bad as I thought and that no one would even remember it, and furthermore, no one probably even noticed it. He tried his hardest to make me feel better, and as I ended the conversation with him, I felt good enough to go to my class.
Class was enough to get my mind off of the day’s events, but once I got home, I was back into my state of depression and worry over it all. Once again, Tyler was to the rescue. Good heavens, I love that man. He came up behind me, put his arms around my wasit and kissed my cheek as tears rolled down them. Once again, he tried to reason with me that everything would be okay and that I am a good communicator and it was due to having things go wrong right before I was supposed to speak. I put on a smile and tried to believe what he said.
But the tears weren’t over for the night. We were laying in bed talking and once again, the scene in front of the attorneys played through my mind. Once more, here came the tears, and once more, Tyler does his best to reassure me that everything would be okay. He comforted me the best he could and calmed me down enough that I could fall asleep. I woke up this morning feeling like it was all a bad dream, but sadly, it wasn’t. I’d give anything to do it over again.
I learned from this that I’m not the best public speaker in the world. By far. And I actually think I would do better if I didn’t follow a list of notes. I think that throws me off more than if I just do it by memory, by heart. (Any pointers for public speaking from anyone who’s actually good at it?)
But I also learned that I have the best husband in the world. He has this way of making me feel so much better even when I feel like the whole world is crumbling around me. Just knowing that I have his big hug and comforting words to come home to after I mess things up like I did gives me the courage I need to lift my head up, put one foot in front of the other and keep on carryin’ on.