A few months ago I submitted my story for my university’s inaugural Nurse Story Slam. The theme was “Finding Joy Through Adversity” and I thought well, hell. I know a thing or two about this…
However, I didn’t think I’d honestly be chosen to tell my story. I mean, lots of nurses have amazing stories of overcoming horrible events to rise back up and find joy. Ohio State is a big place and the submission was open to students, alumni, faculty, and staff. So I sent the submission and then forgot about it to focus on my final few weeks of grad school.
A few weeks later, I got the email that I was chosen as one of the 6 nurses to receive professional storytelling coaching and tell our stories live on stage at The Ohio State University.
I almost said no.
I almost did my usual overthinking and found dozens of reasons not to accept this amazing opportunity.
But I took a chance and said yes. I didn’t know how I was going to work it out but I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t try.
So I flew to a new city by myself to meet with people I only knew from Zoom meetings and then get up on stage and tell over a hundred people my story.
My tongue cancer bestie drove over 3 hours to be there and sat in the front row, center seat. She was the only person I could see from the stage. A few of my classmates from my online program were there, too.
I was fairly calm until my name was announced. I walked out on that stage and I suddenly felt like I was in A-fib; my heart had to have been beating 180 beats per minute! I thought “welp, this is how I die, on stage in front of these poor people.”
But I clearly didn’t die. In fact, I made it through the entire story barely missing a beat even when my mic decided it was over it. And in 7 minutes it was all over and I felt amazing.
And now I’m sharing it here. I’m sure most people who read my blog already follow me on social media or know me irl, but for those who happen to stumble across this and need a little nudge to go do the thing, here it is: do the thing that scares you. Do it scared. Do it absolutely terrified and wondering if you’ll make it through. You will. It may not be perfect but it will be yours and no one will ever be able to take it away from you.
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