I had to give a ten minute presentation about my work at college this week. Given that I have spent so much of my life standing in front of classes full of pupils and spouting forth at them I thought that this would be a breeze. yet I rapidly discovered that to stand in front of all your peers and some of your tutors to talk about who you are, what floats your boat and why you make what you do is a whole different ball game. I had written my presentation weeks in advance because I like to be prepared so I thought that the delivery would be just another ten minutes in the ‘life of . . . ‘ Not so! I found it really difficult to deliver without reading from the page. I had great difficulty making eye contact with my audience and by the end my mouth was unbearably dry and my tongue appeared to have taken on a life of its own. I had to really concentrate to get the words out at all. Why was that?
I think it has to do with talking about oneself rather than more abstract facts and figures for which one has little responsibility. It was a bit like bearing my soul, a confession if you like – “I am a ceramic artist and I make ridiculously fragile pieces which are absolutely pointless”. It makes you justify yourself on an intellectual level – difficult! As for predicting where I go next, that was like gazing into a crystal ball. I have never been able to plan where I go next. Life has been an extremely peripatetic adventure!
I have never been to an addicts’ help group but I found myself wondering whether it would have been easier or more difficult to stand up and admit an addiction. So, just in case you are wondering, that I am also a sugar-holic and I cannot keep out of the biscuit tin.