My roller-coaster ride to TEDxBristol
My time leading up to TEDxBristol 2015 has been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster - filled with a variety of different feelings and experiences as I hurtle towards 11th Nov. One minute it's excitement, then a pang of awe, oh and then the lurch of fear as I contemplate public speaking for the first time - in front of 2000 people.
Some people keep their eyes shut on roller-coasters (to continue the analogy) but this has been an eyes-wide open and 'hold on tight' experience, as I’ve begun to see the amazing possibilities that life can offer if you take a chance and have a go. Despite being pretty terrified, this talk is giving me the opportunity to talk about something that is so important - I can't not talk about it: male suicide and men's mental health. I'm going to be talking from the heart about an issue which has both almost crippled me but also given me a strength and direction I never knew I had. And I'm not alone.
You see the thing that has really gripped me about doing a TEDx talk is the chance to witness people being unified by the passion of wanting to not just see our world become a better place, but to have a go at actually making it better. To share their vision and determination with the world, to get stuck in. A lot of people talk about the things they'd like to change - but as I sat in rehearsals last Thursday watching my fellow speakers take to stage, I realised that these people are doing it - they believe in something and they are trying to create positive change. It's more than a little nerve-wracking to be among them.
As the time gets closer and closer to the Bristol TEDx event I find myself thinking of all the people I know personally who will be attending, and how many diverse backgrounds and walks of life they come from. I’ve jokingly thought to myself that it would take a wedding or a funeral to produce a showing like this normally, but I’m inspired that so many people feel moved to be a part of the undeniably great things Bristol is not only birthing but spearheading.
I firmly believe that TEDxBristol will serve as a springboard in realising the many positive dreams that people have for this city. So if you're turning up on the day or watching online - sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!