I remember when I first started a new, higher-paid role at my old job, this must’ve been about, say, 6 or 7 years ago, one of the things I had to do was deliver these information workshops to external clients. Sounds harmless, right? Wrong. These weren’t your average workshops. I was working for the Queensland Government and the workshops I was delivering were about State Legislation, policies and associated requirements. That was a boring sentence just to read, so you imagine how boring it was in person to tell people about it for 2 hours. There’s no way to make legislation fun.
Boredom aside, the first time I found out I had to do them I was terrified because public speaking is really scary. I begged my lovely boss to not make me do it, but she insisted I do it as it would be a good learning experience for me and, seeing as she’s my boss, I couldn’t say no.
The first one I did was awkward as shit. It was really awkward. Real bad. I mumbled and fumbled and forgot what I was supposed to say and people asked questions, which is great, but I was unprepared because I hadn’t thought that far ahead and they totally caught me off guard. After that first horrid encounter, I decided to make those workshops my bitch.
I got this idea in my head that I didn’t want the workshops to win and make me look like a fool in front of strangers. I wanted to be badass. I wanted to be the workshop badass! It’s weird to think about it now, but I think my plan was to get to the point where me and workshops were synonymous. Like, you start planning a workshop and you think, “Who should deliver this?” and you immediately think, “That badass workshop bisch on level 5, that’s who!”
So I did it. I started practicing at my desk, like a total nerd. I was thinking about it in my head, I was re-writing content to make it more engaging and easier for me to follow and after a little while, I started to get better at them and in the end, those workshops really did become my bitch. I kind of realised at that point my boss had been right, it was good for me to get over that fear of public speaking early on in the piece.
I’m extra glad she did, because recently the events team from Apple reached out to me, inviting me to speak at the Apple Store, Brisbane. Trust me, when you get an email in your inbox from Apple, your heart skips a bit. I spoke to one of the events people and told them my story about Little Grey Box; from starting it and feeling trapped in my old job, to quitting and running a travel blog full-time. Thankfully they found it mildly interesting enough to invite me to speak at the store!
So, on Friday 5th February at 7pm, I’ll be standing in the Apple Store, Brisbane, sharing my story and, hopefully, hitting people with some knowledge about how amazingly wonderful and powerful they are, capable of achieving their dreams and living a beautiful, happy life.
I’m really looking forward to it. It feels pretty amazing to have the events team there come across Little Grey Box and think enough of it to reach out to me. It’s a much-appreciated piece of recognition and the kind of thing that will keep me going on those doubtful days. You know, the ones where you start to freak out and think things like, “WTF am I doing with my life??” On those days I’ll be thinking, “Shut up, fool. Apple thinks you’re great!!”
It’s kind of funny the way our lives work out and how everything really does happen for a reason. If 6 or 7 years ago, my boss had never pushed me to do those workshops and I had never decided to make them my bitch, I wouldn’t have the confidence to speak at the store in a few weeks. At the time, it didn’t feel like I was in the right place in my life, I felt totally lost and like I was wasting time when I was gaining the essential skills and experience I would need to help me fulfil my dreams in 7 years time.
Even now, there have been and still are days when I don’t feel like I’m where I want to be. But, in truth, I really am in the exact place I need to be, learning the essential skills I will need to help me in the future. Just because it doesn’t make sense at the time, doesn’t mean it isn’t part of something bigger. The key is to embrace each lesson and put in the effort to make it your bitch, so you don’t even have to think about when it comes up in the future; it’ll be second nature to you.
It’s so easy for us to dismiss parts of our life as ‘wasted,’ but they never are. If you’re in a life-place you don’t want to be in and it’s making you feel awful, that’s great news. That pain, sadness, emptiness you feel are there to jolt you out of it. Without them, you’d be numb and time would roll by without you realising you’re unhappy. You are exactly where you need to be, whether that’s learning valuable lessons, feeling really happy or being challenged daily so you can make a change you’ve always wanted to make.
If you live in Brisbane, I’d love to see you at the Apple Store on Friday 5th February. It would be great to see your smiling face in the crowd and having you there to support me on a pretty big night. It all goes down at 7pm at the Apple Store, Brisbane, at Macarthur Chambers on Queen Street. I’ll be speaking about my journey, sharing travel stories and photos and also talking about my travel and photography tips. I’ll also be sharing some of the things I share in these personal posts, about following your heart and living a life you love.
The event is totally free and you can register to secure your spot through the Apple website, here. If that’s too much commitment, you can also just rock up on the day. Please don’t heckle me. But, feel free to think up some questions for me, cos there will be a Q & A session at the end.
*Update* Check out the video from my talk at the Apple Store, Brisbane!
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.