Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Haunting

It's Halloween and all sorts of freaky things happen. I woke up haunted by three things (all psychological, I'm privileged to say).

1. Years ago, I was introduced to Milton Glaser by an almost-equally-famous design personage (I'm not writing names, because that would be double name-dropping). When Milton Glaser asked what I did, I replied, "editorial design." When he asked which magazine(s) I worked on, I was too flabbergasted to admit that I designed books, not magazines—and too embarrassed to admit I didn't really know the correct nomenclature. Did I correct myself? No. I became cellophane.

2. Not too much later, I was the sole representative of my organization's chapter at a leadership conference. Before I set out, I was told, my group wouldn't present anything at the general kickoff. As each state, in alphabetical order, showed a film or sang a song or did a skit about each's accomplishments, it became clear that everyone had prepared something except for me. I hastily scribbled the long list of what we'd done and accomplished throughout the year, thinking I could nervously run through something à la the hysterically-nervous Sondheim patter song, (Not) Getting married today." BUT when New York was called, I demurred. I became cellophane.

3. So now what haunts me is that I'm still learning to get over shyness, which has been defined not as introversion but as fear of being judged. Time to go for it. Time to admit an error. Time to improvise. It's not too late. Ghosts can be banished.

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