When I was invited by the University of Waterloo to give a TEDx talk (TEDxUW) last summer, I knew that if I was going to give a TEDx talk, there was only one thing I wanted to talk about – how secrets undermine our capacity to Imagine & Do.
I accepted the invitation to give a talk.
Then, I spent five months trying to talk myself out of my topic. I was petrified. I knew that if I wanted to talk about secrets then I would have to do some truth-telling of my own. I had spent 21 years trying to simultaneously tell and hide my truths through my art, scholarship, and life. I had become proficient at being clear and abstract but, I knew that it was time for me to speak plainly and culminate my experiences in the form of a TEDx talk because I believed that freedom was on the other side of truth-telling.
On Nov. 17, 2012 I spoke words aloud that I had previously only thought because I wanted to be the person I imagined. My TEDxUW talk, “Imagine & Do” (named after a previous blog post) is the most important representation of art and scholarship that I have created in my life. I am exceedingly proud of it, still a bit afraid of the personal and professional consequences that it may yield but, relieved because those secrets will no longer undermine my capacity to imagine and do.
And, as I said in my talk, “there are many truths, and the telling of any of my truths directly effects the lives of others. So to those who I love, whose lives might be affected by my truth-telling today, I ask for your understanding and for your forgiveness”.
Please watch the video and, if it connects with you, please share it with others.