Phew! What a week this has been. Initially, my post for this week was going to be about “listening”. Why? Well, I once again experienced the frustration of not being heard – you know, when people hear what you say but don’t actually “listen”?
Moving on . . .
I’ve changed my mind about the listening/not listening issue because right now I am going through a mixture of emotions so I thought I would tell you about that and the reasons for it instead.
I think I have mentioned before (once or maybe more than once) that I am currently part of a pilot project by Disabled People of South Africa (DPSA) where they are training a group of disabled women to be Facilitators to do workshops in their communities specifically targeting disabled women to empower them about their basic human rights and their rights as people.
We, the trainees, are evaluated through having to submit a Portfolio of Evidence which is made up of a combination of written assignments as well as practical assignments. We are currently in the last leg of our training which ends in March 2014 and for this last leg of our journey, we are expected to facilitate a minimum of three workshops with a minimum of ten people each and we are meant to invite our trainer and our mentor to attend these events which will all form part of our final evaluation. An alternative to this is that we get invited to speak at three events/functions/meetings – again with a minimum of ten people in attendance.
In preparation for my assignment, I e-mailed a few people, posted messages on various social media sites making myself available to speak at events (free of charge) and also asking people if they would be interested in attending one of my workshops. I also placed an advert in the form of a letter in the “Letters Page” of our local community newspaper and, guess what? I received my first invitation to speak at a Women’s Day event being hosted by one of our local churches and they are expecting an average of 300 people to attend this event. My entire assignment done all in one go.
Going back to the title of this blog “going back to my roots” – the reason for this is because the church which invited me to speak is an Anglican church. I was raised in the Anglican church, hence the reason for me starting off saying that I’m going through a whole range of emotions right now and “going back to my roots”.
I am absolutely terrified of having to present to a group of 300 people. With an event of this size, I am sure that this is not just going to be one congregation but will be a mixture of congregations from various churches in the area. This is the part that is causing the mixture of emotions.
You see, my dad’s family are mostly members of the Anglican Church and attend churches in the areas bordering where I live. I have not had contact with any of my dad’s family for more than ten years now and have absolutely no desire to have any dealings with them at this stage, however, I now have to prepare myself for the possibility that more than one of them may be present at this event where I will be speaking.
How do I feel about this? I really cannot say. I can say, for sure, that I’m not excited about the prospect of bumping in to one or more of them but at the same time I know that if it does happen, I will be strong enough to deal with it. Hakkuna Matata (no worries)!
Don’t forget – I said earlier, that I am terrified of speaking to a crowd of 300 people and in addition to this, I still have to be prepared for the fact that there may be some present watching my every move – waiting for me to fail – to report back to the rest of the family. I will also have my Mentor and Trainer present, assessing my presentation skills, but hey, no pressure!
This invitation has also stirred up other emotions inside me – it has reminded me of being baptised and confirmed in the Anglican Church and all the years in between. Even though I have left the Anglican Church, I am now part of a church which broke away from the traditional Anglican church and have a different style of worship but whose roots are still very much based on the Anglican faith. As a result, I still feel a strong connection to the faith and its traditions.
I hope all this makes sense and that you can understand why I say I’m filled with all sorts of emotions right now and why I said I’m “going back to my roots”.
Well, putting the emotions aside, I’m looking forward to preparing for my moment in the spotlight. I will try to keep the anxiety and stress levels in check and not let it get too out of hand – during the preparations and on the day of the event.
Who knows – I might just be able to pull this one off without anyone suspecting that I’m just a ball of nerves, absolutely terrified of making a complete fool of myself.
Don’t forget you can also follow me on: http://www.womendemanddignity.wordpress.com