For years I have been so very proud of my husband (T/B) Lance Tidwell, for getting past his fear of public speaking, for putting himself out there, for going all over the US and in Canada giving presentations regarding Microsoft SQL Server issues at SQLSaturdays, User Groups, and even PASS Summit. I have secretly been somewhat envious of him. I love to travel, meet new friends, have adventures, and share my thoughts and experiences. I could do this too, right? RIGHT?
Let’s back way up.
Many years ago I received my Bachelors in Fine Arts. I studied theater and was on stage quite a bit! I acted, sang, directed, designed and built sets and wardrobes, etc. I was very outgoing and felt that I was living larger than life. After graduating, my life hit a pretty large speed-bump and it threw me for a big loop. I fought to regain myself; however, somewhere along the way in climbing back up, I lost sight of who I was and what I wanted in life.
Instead of chasing my dreams and doing what I enjoyed most, I settled for a stable career in the legal field; where I grew and changed, and helped others live out their dreams. I was quite good at what I did, make no mistake. I give 100% of myself to every task! But it was never really “my thing” and I longed for something more exciting.
Mid-life crisis at MY AGE?
Call it a mid-life crisis, call it divine intervention, call it pure boredom….but I suddenly decided I needed a change in my life. I wanted to dream big, I wanted to learn and grow in a field where constant change and growth is…well….constant. Being fairly adept in the technical realm, my husband urged me to take some classes to learn Data Sciences. I found some great classes at EDX and set on my way. I loved those classes!
I began attending SQLSaturdays with him and met the most wonderful, supportive, intelligent, fun, and brilliant people! They welcomed me with open arms and encouraged me to grow and learn with them. I was becoming part of the wonderful #SQLFamily! I even received my first SQL job offer at Procure SQL with a great mentor and friend, Microsoft MVP, John Sterrett (T/B). Fast forward a year or so and I submitted to give a session at my first SQLSaturday! I was accepted as a speaker for SQLSaturdayNashville! OH MY!
Oh my, how exciting! Oh my, how wonderful! OH MY, what have I done?
That’s right…I did it. I made a speaker profile, I attached a cute photo, I wrote an abstract and then I hit the all-mighty SUBMIT button. There was no turning back! And then bam, “Congratulations, you have been accepted to speak at..” the words made my heart race, my head swim, my inner theater kid jumped for joy! I did it! I was accepted!
I was accepted….oh my. OH MY! I need to write a session! Where do I start? What do I do? What have I done? What would they think of me? Would my session be any good? Would anyone even show up? The thoughts, fear, and doubt swirled like snow in the wind. I just had to stop and take a breath, get my thoughts in order, and put that theater kid to work!
The steps I took to build the session and my confidence, the experience giving the session, and the outcome will all be provided in the next blog. Stay tuned!