Everything is happening all at once — 2014 is taking me from behind this little computer screen and dumping me out in front of the world. When I wrote two weeks ago about my struggle with post-partum weight loss, I was secretly nervous because in March I’m doing a public speaking event at a travel conference. Samantha Brown from the Travel Channel will be there. I started making little comparisons between TV-ready Ms. Brown and myself, thinking about the bright lights on the stage and the big crowd, and feeling my anxiety rise. So I outed myself. I wrote about weight loss and not only did everyone cheer me on, I got a number of really sweet emails that made me feel better about it.

I joined a gym. You literally have to walk under her dress to get there. I can not make this stuff up.
I joined a gym. You literally have to walk under her dress to get there. I can not make this stuff up.

I’m a pretty good public speaker on the outside, but inside, I would much rather let someone else take the spot light. I remember telling my friend when I got my book deal about how much I was dreading the book coming out — at this point the ink hadn’t even dried on the contract. I told Drew, “I wish I could just make things, movies, books, the blog, my photography and then not tell anyone about, just shove it out into the world.”

He laughed.

“No seriously.”

Weirdly, that’s not how the world works. People want to hear you speak, they want to see you, they want to know the person behind these things.

So I took one little step two weeks ago, talking about my weight, putting some public pressure on myself — which works, I’ve lost 7 lbs — but I’ve been taking these other steps too. Running workshops, saying yes to speaking gigs and interviews, and sending our film out to about a dozen or so film festivals for the first half of 2014.

I’m petrified that I will disappoint people, that my writing is better than me in real life, that I will get up on stage and forget everything. I suck at small talk. I’m too honest. I’ll tell you anything you want to know, and probably more than you asked. I have a habit of trying to convince all of my single friends and/or people I’ve just met that they should seriously consider having kids. I know. I have to stop doing that. Just don’t bait me with, “Oh I’m 30 and married for 4 years, I wonder what I should do next?”

Um…. have a baby? Don’t be like me and wait seven years of marriage for the “right moment” because it never comes. Babies are awesome. I mean if you want them. And if you do, then you might as well do it now, there’s really no point in waiting.

See, I just did it again. I am so screwed.

Maybe that will be my speech in New York. “Travel with Kids” is the topic, but perhaps I’ll just berate everyone into finding their soul mate and making lots of babies with a slideshow of my kids traveling around the globe and end with, “I know, right?”

See, that, right there, would be hilarious to me.

Okay, so you’ll come see me in New York City in March? Yes? I hear there is a cocktail hour afterwards. I might be anxiety-drinking so that should be fun. I tend to have great drunk ideas like, “Let’s go to Montreal so we can eat poutine!” and the uncanny ability to convince people to come along for the ride (no seriously, ask Jason about Thailand, Troy about India or Drew about pretty much every weekend when we lived in Texas).

Here are my scheduled dates:

I am giving a talk here: 3/8/14 NYC – Women’s Travel Fest (session on “Traveling with Kids”)

I am hosting a workshop the next day on working online in conjuction with the Fest: 3/9/14 NYC – WTFest Workshop “Work Online & Travel”

I am doing a week long blogging workshop in Spain: 5/5/14-5/9/14 Barcelona – Writing, Photography & Blogging Workshop

More dates, exciting/freaking me out things to come.