So the interview is all set up and I'm nervous as a cat. I've done a billion interviews over the last several years, on camera, on tape, on notepad. While I get nervous in front of an audience, I've never really been nervous in front of an interviewer. I know I know what I'm talking about. I'm confident in what I have to say. I'm pleased that I get a chance to say it. So, no problem.
But I got an email the other day from some guy in Alberta who writes for a magazine that covers a large region that includes the town I was born in, the town where I grew up and the town where I have relatives on both sides of the family. Apparently he's looking to do an article on people from the region who went on to some kind of international success in their chosen fields. And he picked me as one such subject.
This is way cool.
Small town boy hits it big.
I told him that he could send me some questions and I could jot down some answers but he wanted to do the thing live, so we've set an appointment to talk next week. I don't know how he found me, what he knows of my work, or what he really wants to talk about. When I realized that for the first time the interview was going to be about 'me' not about abuse, or sexuality, or disability, or self advocacy or any of the things that I know about, I got nervous. I'm not so confident on the 'me' front.
What's there really to say?
I'm not being falsely modest here but really, what's there to say? I live in Toronto, in an apartment. Most days I go to work at Vita, other days (like tomorrow) I travel internationally and speak. I write blogs and I write books. I like cooking and walks along the beach (actually I hate the beach, sand and fat people don't mix, well they mix but sand keeps reappearing in odd and unpleasant places for months and months). I don't want to talk about those things, I want to talk about prejudice and progress, about advocacy and awareness, about rights and responsibilities. That's what's interesting.
For many people that knew me then, though, all this will be such a surprise. I was the 'little engine that couldn't, wouldn't, won't'. Little was expected. Little was predicted. Nothing was hoped for. Maybe that's what I need to say. I need to remind parents and teachers to look at those in their care again, those that they've written off, those that they feel are destined to failure. Maybe they need to look deep into the eyes of the kids at the back of the class, the kids that live in the cold room in the basement of a parent's heart. And when they look there, prepare to see something more - potential (waiting).