It’s 7:35 p.m. and I am hiding out in my room at the beautiful Boca Raton Resort. My coworkers and industry partners have decided to go out to dinner, but here I’ve sat for an hour and a half, listening to Billy Joel, in a bathrobe, with a bottle of whiskey.
Today was one of those days that end with, “I need a drink.” As it happens, I cannot stomach whiskey so I’m just staring at the glass I poured myself thinking about all the masochists in the world who consume it. There cannot possibly be someone out there who enjoys this [expletive].
The reason as to why I am hiding, may never leave this room, and will foot the bill to my employer for the remaining years I have left is because today I backtracked on all that I’ve learned during the past year as a communications manager and became a living, breathing puddle of human sweat.
My job requires me to network with travel professionals and sometimes speak to international media outlets on behalf of my employer. I am now comfortable speaking in front of a camera, speaking on the radio, giving interviews for print and web and writing talking points for my superiors. I love what I do and I love getting to know people…
On a one-on-one basis.
Today, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of journalists in Spanish. Shouldn’t be a problem for a Hispanic, right?
Conversational Spanish is not a problem for me, but for some reason, every time I try to speak proper Spanish it becomes a real “arroz con culo.” It probably has to do with the fact that my last real Spanish class was at age 13 and I didn’t learn anything else past aguda, llana, esdrújula o sobreesdrújula.
I sounded like an airhead and that, combined with a PowerPoint deck that refused to cooperate, well… you can only imagine the cluster my tongue became as I searched the room for an answer.
So here I am, cursing my knowledge gap and hiding out. I have an irrational fear of being judged when I speak and today I lived out one of my nightmares. A room full of people staring back at me while I fumbled around with la computadora and mis palabras.
I missed the sunset cruise event because the thought of getting on a boat without an escape, surrounded by the people who watched me fail miserably on a boat with no escape gave me the worst anxiety.
Today I am one step closer to agoraphobia. Good thing Domino’s delivers… even better, I don’t have to use my words anymore. I can just tweet out a pizza emoji.