Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Not a lag about...

This past weekend I went up to Hampshire College (my alma mater) to speak to prospective, current, and graduated students about "How to be a Maker, Making It In The Real World." If you know me at all, you would know this is literally my personal nightmare. Like, other people dream about walking through high school naked and wake up in a cold sweat. I dream about speaking fully clothed with a script pretty much anywhere and wake up similarly drenched.

So, to put it lightly, public speaking makes me cringe. Speaking positively about myself in pretty much any capacity makes me near catatonic. Going back to college to do both sounded terrible. However, I also have a lot of love for Hampshire and everything I learned/accomplished there, and of course I was flattered that they asked, so off I went.

Originally the plan was for John and a couple of our Hampshire friends to come up with me; but then John came up with an idea that would only appeal to a person like me... Rather than go up to Hampshire to watch me squirm in public, he and the crew would stay in New York and build a deck on our roof, I would throw myself on the fire, and essentially, the roof deck would be my prize for surviving...

In John's mind-- if I had to speak positively about myself and my experiences, it would probably be easier without any familiar faces in the audience. 100% true. I am the least socially terrified around people I don't know at all. Behind closed doors (and on this blog) I refer to this as "hyper-compensating social psychosis". For the first few hours that I meet total strangers, I am the most funny, most dynamic version of myself. Add a couple of my closest friends, and I become an awkward, self aware weirdo who can scarcely remember my name. I don't yet have a term for that, but I'm open to suggestions if anybody's got one.

Anyway-- he knows that at the end of the day, there is truly nothing I like more than straight up progress. (This is pretty much the secret to most of everything that we've ever gotten done. No matter how much I'd rather sleep, watch a movie, or get a pedicure-- there's nothing that really "fills me up" quite like checking off a to-do list. I realize this is totally f#cked up, but that's the gist of it.) So that was the plan. And then, lo! The stars aligned and John's parents told us they had HEAPS of wide plank pine which we could use for the deck (the product of many downed trees following Hurricane Sandy, believe it or not.)

Totally awesome, we just had to get it from upstate New York to South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. No problemo. One extremely sweaty, very arduous afternoon later; and we had 600 square feet of pine sitting up on the roof, waiting for installation. Ha-zahh!

Fast forward another week... I've survived the speech at Hampshire with a totally positive reception and only a brief (not public) mental breakdown... But even better, the roof deck has been installed and it feels absolutely f#cking magical out there. I'm not kidding. Without a doubt, going up to Hampshire solo was unquestionably worth how marvelous our deck feels now. Maybe we have low standards, but pretty much every evening we sit outside, eat dinner, and I'm telling you! It feels like we're out on a date. Outdoor eating is so vastly superior to indoor eating-- it's bananas. I just wish we could do it all year long...


At this rate, I'm going to end up out there in mid-October wrapped in blankets. 

1 comment:

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