23. A Day That Went Well
had been a week of anticipating and preparing for a presentation at a big
conference held in San Francisco. Until that day of the presentation, it
felt like I was just holding my breath. I was the second presenter
after lunch. I only had coffee for breakfast. The other presenters and I
went to a lovely lunch overlooking the City during the noon break but I could not even eat.
Public speaking is part of my job. No matter how many presentations I
have made over the years, and very grateful that every single one was
well-received, I still get anxious not so much during the presentation
but before it. In fact, I have always been told that nobody could tell
that I was nervous. In reality, when I get in front of people I just get
going and forget about my initial “fight or flight” mode.
did it. And it was a success. I was supposed to stay with the panel of
presenters until it was all over but I sat at the back of conference
room and devoured my lunch of duck sandwich right after I finished
speaking. Finally I could breathe.
When it all ended – after
we answered every question, networked and congratulated each other on a
job well done that took us a year to prepare despite being in different
states and countries, I left. It turned out to be a very gorgeous
summer day in San Francisco. It was very sunny and people were out
enjoying the sun at Yerba Buena Gardens. Lovers were walking together,
people jogging, walking their dogs, a group of boys playing soccer and a
couple of girls playing hula hoop.
I went to the Metreon and
treated myself to a big cup of cold matcha green tea. I sat on a bench
and drank my drink, watched and enjoyed the world slowly pass me by
against the back draft of a 130 year old church and the Martin Luther
King, Jr. fountain.
For a whole week I was waiting to exhale, and at that moment I did.
And that air that went through my system that seemed to have forgotten
how to breathe for many days felt really, really good .I only
stayed for not even half an hour but for those few minutes my fast-paced
life has deliciously slowed down for me. It is very rare to feel this relieved and
relaxed. I got up and went back inside the Metreon and bought a sandwich for the
BF. Walked back to BART and went home. Life resumes but this rare
moment when the world seemed to stand still for a moment is something
that I would like to remember.