In one week, three of my female friends shared with me that they were asked to give a TED Talk. TED stands for technology, entertainment and design. The talks are produced by a non profit organization and their slogan is "Ideas worth spreading." A guest speaker gets up in front a of a live audience and delivers a speech on their area of expertise. If you haven't seen one you should pick any interesting subject and watch one because they are all well done and very educational. If you want to see three of my friends their talks i am sure will impress you too. They impressed me, so much so that I began to wonder if there was anything I could offer a TED talk.
One friend works in non profit making sure minorities and immigrants get treated well in their workplace (here is the link to her TedX talk, picture below). Another started an organization that gives micro loans to women in Africa to start their own businesses. My third friend will be giving her talk this weekend and she is a heart surgeon, who works part time so she can also juggle being a mom and her singer/songwriting career. I have some busy, smart friends. I would like to say they can swing all these important missions because they have chosen careers over children but only one of the three doesn't have kids. One even has three boys all under the age of five.
I have made the choice to dedicate my time to being a full time mom and I am sure soon enough when my kids don't seem to need me quite so much I will be missing this time with them. I have absolutely no regrets. I do wonder though what I will do when they are both in school full time. I don't want to fill my day with errands and wait for the school bell to ring and pick them up. I want to do something a bit more important, a bit selfless, a bit more helpful. It doesn't have to be TED talk worthy, but it should equal it's importance if even in a small way.
I called a friend to share the news about my smart high achieving friends. I confessed to her that I felt my life work felt a little dull in comparison to trophys earned from their accomplishments, She reassured me that I had many things I could give a TED talk on right now. When I asked her to give me an example she said she would but she had to get off the phone and she will call me back. My head began to wonder. Prior to moving to LA I worked in the world of social change. I was in my late teens and early twenties participating in creative projects all around NYC teaching about race and ethnicity. I believed I could change the world and looking back I still believe we made a small difference talking to kids about intolerance. I have always known I would go back to this line of work but feel rusty and out of practice. Mostly I am afraid of teenagers now since I am so much older than them now. They intimidate me.
As for now, I still have little ones so I can ignorantly go about my errands until I am ready to make a change. I could give a talk on how I think parents should throw away most of their parenting books and just follow their instincts. I could speak about how just paying attention to your kids can work wonders for your kids self esteem. I could share how a hug can help fix almost anything, but these things everyone knows...right? I still await the phone call from my friend on what she thinks I could give a TED talk on. If there are any good ideas I will let you know.