Heather Huddlestonby Heather Leah Huddleston

Vulnerability: that’s the word that best describes my experience thus far on preparing for my TEDx Wilmington talk.

I was recommended to be a speaker in the TEDx Wilmington Conference by a dear friend who spoke of his near-death experience a few years ago at this very conference.

Though I never thought to apply, I knew exactly what I would talk about—the story of healing that I have lived with my entire life. So, vulnerability isn’t something I’ve ever really shied away from. As a writer, the words on the page have been my tools to express that vulnerability. But for some reason as soon as I applied and as soon as I was invited to give the TEDx talk, the vulnerability surfaced stronger than it had in a long time; it sounded like this: “How dare you think you have something worthy to say?! You’re a fraud and now everyone will know it!” Mean, right? Those nasty voices are things I’ve coexisted with for most of my life, but when the vulnerability deepened and manifested as physical pain (something directly related to my talk), I started to sink into the fear that those voices might be right.

But…here I am, in a lot of physical pain, writing through it, sharing my vulnerability with you all in spite of it, knowing that the pain is a temporary messenger that just needs a little bit of attention before it can go on its not-so-merry way. Life is this beautiful undulation, with its highs and lows, its fears and gifts. When we share ourselves in the face of our most vulnerable moments, that’s when the space for true healing and connection is created. So…for this experience, I continue to be grateful and excited to share my life’s experiences and work with you all.

This series of blogs captures the firsthand reactions of the speakers who were selected (from a field of more than 100 applicants) to give talks at the TEDxWilmington Conference on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 at the World Cafe Live at the Queen. Tickets are on sale here.