this extended spring break has been a dream come true. mostly because ive been able to stay at home.
in my pajamas. doing zero to further my career as a whatever i am, or meet my future wife, or read books.
however today i did my least favorite thing in the whole world: i spoke on a panel of smart people in front of smart people.
i get nervous that i will tell a dirty joke. i get nervous someone will call bs on me. i get nervous i’ll get stumped.
which is all insane because i’ve been standing up in front of large groups of people talking since i was a kid
while in 7th grade my teacher made me the MC of the talent show. i did such a good job she did it to me again in 8th grade.
somehow the word got out and they made me do it in high school: twice.
every single time terrified me. LORD KNOWS WHY. I ALMOST ALWAYS KILL.
ive represented multi billion dollar companies at trade shows in vegas: microsoft, philips, webtv.
ive been on countless panels, sitting alongside super smart people, and never have i said anything embarrassing to anyone.
they keep inviting me back. they ask me to host, they ask me to interview famous people.
ALL OF IT TERRIFIES ME TO NO END AND I GET ZERO POINT ZERO JOY OUT OF IT.
but i do it for several reasons
1. im insane
2. i almost always truly admire and like the people who ask me.
3. i love a challenge. LOVE.
i do not practice writing. i do not try to improve my body or my wardrobe.
but the one thing i try very hard at is the one thing i’m probably the best at: faking like im not completely freaked out on the mic.
today i puked about an hour after i spoke to the brainiacs at idealab.
during the panel i shook behind the mic after one of my best asides. for no reason.
one lady after the panel came up to me, shook my hand and said, “loved your answers. You’re like a wise dad in a cute little body.”
people gave me their business cards. people then emailed me. they added me on twitter and linked in.
martin beck, the social media editor of the LA Times who was on the panel with me, when he found out he was gonna speak a few minutes after me
said, and then tweeted, following “Me following you is like Abba going on after Jimi.”
some of my friends talk about anxiety that they get. i am the coolest calmest dude 99.9% of the time
even under super stressed super crazy freak out moments
but put me behind a mic in front of people, be they sales associates at a Sam’s Club in Davis
or geniuses in Pasadena and every demon spouting every negative thought is shouting at me loud and clear.
and i know the only way to shut them down is not to avoid them,
but to do all the things they say i can’t do.
i know i will never get over this bizarro fear.
it has never gotten easier.
but because im crazy, i keep saying yes.