A few weeks ago, Kendrick was telling me how he was working on a group project at school and the question of who would present the project in front of their entire class came up, and - without even thinking - he said "I will." And I thought that was the coolest thing, to have your default setting when it comes to public speaking be "Sure, I can handle that," to just have faith in your ability...and then go get it done.
I used to struggle - a lot - with stage fright. When I was working as an actress, the problem became so bad that it was actually crippling - I had to tailor my wardrobe to cover up shaking knees or a flushed neck, and once had an anxiety attack so extreme that I had to physically walk out of an audition with Jada Pinkett Smith, saying "I can't do this" - and was a big part of why, after awhile, acting stopped being something that made me happy. When you have an enormous physical response that frequently stands smack in between you and your ability to get hired for a job and make a living, you eventually start thinking that maybe you need to do something different.
So when I say that it's "exciting" to be able to speak on panels, give presentations, stand up in front of a really lot of people and just talk, I mean much more than "Oh, what a cool experience." I mean that too, of course - it is cool, very cool - but even more I mean that there was this thing that used to be so much a part of my world that it cast huge shadows over my career, my future, my life...and the discovery that getting up on a stage wasn't just something that I could learn how to "handle," but something I could actually learn how to enjoy...
I suppose I just find that kind of incredible. The fact that, in time, we can move past even those things that feel impossible. Evolve.