For an extroverted introverted person, such as myself, this week has been both physically and mentally draining. I had to attend a health conference in Washington, DC and attend meeting after meeting. I actually enjoyed the legislative hill visits I partook in, as they served as a reminder that even in these crazy times, we the people do have power. That was all well and good. However, my whole time there, I felt tired and preoccupied.
After Washington DC, I had to fly to Boston where I was to giev a keynote address. That is a lot of pressure. While I am an extroverted introvert, when I get on the stage I can be quite a diva. I have a lot to say and I have passion and conviction. Yet, a keynote is a lot of pressure. While I was trying to work on my speech, I had to worry about work back home, still trying to buy a house and make sure I listened intently to my son’s bits of good news through skype. Sometimes, I just want to give it all up and move to a remote island somewhere. Problem with that is that I get heat rashes and migraines from the sun. Sometimes, you just can’t win.
Eventually, with a bit of help from back home, I got a speech written. Then I had to rewrite, edit and practice. Then edit some more. Then, I just had a string of odd bad luck.
I tried to print out my speech at my hotel’s printer. It was low on toner. It came out half legible. That was just not going to work. I downloaded it onto my iPad thinking that perhaps it was time for me to enter the 21st century and do my speech from a tablet. Ive seen others do it. But I have to share with you, I like the feel of a paper speech. It feels real. It feels like it has more weight and substance. It feels like it has been worked on. A paper speech tends to have my coffee stains and added pithy zingers in the margins. An electronic speech doesn’t have -or rather doesn’t-showcase its weight.
I tried not to give up on eventually holding onto a printed copy. I went to the American Airlines lounge at the aiport and tried to print from there. Unbelievably, the toner was out as well. What was going on? I felt a moment of frustration. I read through the speech on my tablet and made some other edits.
I arrived in Boston and at my hotel pulled out my laptop and practiced and tweaked my speech some more. I saved it and went to print it out from my new hotel. Well, there was no ink left in the printer. There was asuredly, now, a mass toner conspiracy afoot. I felt a bit despondent. And it was snowing. Snowing! So much for springtime.
I went out into the rain/slush/snow and quickly searched on my phone for a nearby FedEx. I found one and entered it into google maps and tried to chart a course to walk there. I am not great with maps. The sidewalks were slick and I was freezing. My hands were shaking as I was trying to figure out my google map pedestrian directions. I finally found the place where I would finally get a printed copy of my speech. Although, it was touch and go when I went inside and the staff were having a bit of a tiff with one another. At first, my speech wouldn’t print there either. I just felt I was cursed. But I hung in there and they gave me a free print out because I looked so tired, wet and pathetic.
You know what is funny about this all?
My speech was about resilience and solidarity within communities. Indeed, it truly took a village, stamina and fortitude to write and print it out. Life can be funny that way.