Fear that no one will show up.
Fear that people will show up.
Fear that people will walk out.
Fear that I will forget something important while speaking.
Fear that someone will ask a question I can't answer.
Fear that I will be wasting someone's time.
Fear that I will be wasting VSLA's money.
Fear of attending a conference alone.
Fear that I will be boring.
Fear that somehow I won't be enough.
That last fear is a fear that has eroded so much of my life. But it is a fear I am learning to put to the side. As I left the hotel Saturday at 5:00, I rode the escalator down to the lobby. It was empty by now. The conference had ended at 12:30.
Three women stood at the bottom of the escalator looking up at me. I was pretty sure the two of them had been sitting front and center during my talk. As the escalator brought me closer, I could see their smiles growing bigger and bigger.
"There she is," the one woman said as she turned to her district's reading teacher. "This is the speaker I was telling you about."
The woman who hadn't been at my presentation said, "I heard you were amazing. I had to go to another session, but I wish I could have gone to yours."
Those women gave me a priceless parting gift.
For them, I had been enough.