So I've been plugging away at this talk on Summer Flowering Bulbs and I'm pretty confident that it'll go very well, but being that this is only my second time speaking at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, the nerves are sure to accumulate as Friday, 6:30PM nears. I'm adding some final touches, making sure the Powerpoint slides flow well, and going through the motions and gestures, I might as well be in a studio choreographing a piece.
In some ways, I wonder if it would be easier if I just had to dance rather than having to open my mouth to speak and make people believe what I was saying. Either way, people will be watching. I always ask myself, "Will people listen to what I have to share and say? Are they going to take me seriously? Will I blank out like I did during a plant propagation workshop I taught last spring? Are people even going to come and hear me speak?"
Last year was absolutely tremendous. I had television cameras following me around the show, wonderful people helping me out each step of the way and I was greeted by a packed D.I.Y. audience with a few people standing in the back to hear me speak. Now, I'm not expecting the same kind of audience or response or at least that's what I keep telling myself.
I guess these days I need more of a validation that all the time, work and effort to be this "Next Generation Gardener" is worth it. As much as I enjoy what I do, this thing called reality sort of sets in and then doubt begins to inundate my thoughts.
As Wednesday, the opening day of the show, approaches, I'm more looking forward to reconnecting with friends and colleagues and being amongst a crowd of excited gardeners ready and eager to get out and work outside in the yard. I guess there's also a part of me that feels great pride in being "someone" in the industry by being somewhat of a veteran of a show I've been involved with for almost 14 years.
The best feeling, I think, is relief: relief that the show will continue on through its new owners, the O'Loughlin Trade Show, Inc.
I'm attending a media day preview tomorrow to have a sneak peak and learn more about the new owners and their future plans for the show.
I better get back to my talk. Even if it's just my aunt, my friend and a handful of little old ladies who come, I look forward to sharing my experience, my photos, my bulbs and plants (yes, I intend to bribe my guests to stay to win some door prizes), and my time with the same level of energy and enthusiasm as if it were a packed house.
Hope to see you at the show!