10 Things I’ve Learned from Trying to Speak at the Moth (and a sappy note to our loyal readers)

Angela and I decided to pick goals for each other in the month of December.  She challenged me to speak at The Moth, which are events where people stand up and tell a story in front of a live audience….right up my alley!  I have yet to hit the Moth stage, but will continue this goal into 2016 and will hopefully have the opportunity to gab on the Moth stage soon.  Here are 10 things I’ve learned this month in the process…

Good Friends Know You Better Than Yourself – When we originally decided to pick goals for each other, I think we were both a little nervous on what the other person would come up with.  I kept trying to think of something in my world that Angela should try and I figured she’d have me playing an instrument by Christmas since she’s a musician.  BUT, she picked a goal that she knew I would love.  She picked a goal that aligned to what I have always dreamed of doing.  If nothing else, I’ve learned that Angela is one of my best friends and knows me and my goals in this life very well!

I Love Stories – They don’t call me “babbling Brooke” for nothing!  I’ve always been a talker, and I’ve even removed the “ums” and “uhs” and participated in humorous speech contests (I have a trophy to prove it) and had my 5 minutes of glory on the Tedx Columbus stage, but as I researched the Moth I realized how much I really do love telling and hearing stories of people’s lives.

It’s the Small Stuff – I listened to a lot of Moth talks this month and I realized that it’s the things that seem like small moments in people’s lives that are the most interesting.  Sure, there’s always a story or two that seems crazy and make your jaw drop, but the stories that were small moments where people learned big lessons became my favorite.  I have found myself listening with that same ear in my everyday interactions since realizing this.

There’s a Dance Between Half-Ass and Not Waiting for Perfect – Most goals this year I came out of them saying how life will never bring perfect timing for anything and sometimes you just have to take a leap when things are 90% done or 85% comfortable-enough.  But, now this month, I felt like I could’ve hopped in my car and driven to a Moth event but it only would’ve been a half-ass story to tell.  Angela reminded me this month about the value of sometimes waiting to deliver something you’re proud of vs. half ass something for the sake of saying you did it.

December is For Gaining Weight and Nothing Productive – Goals in December.  Yeah.  No.

Find Out What it Takes and Do a Little Everyday – Not a new lesson, but one of the most important ones.  If you can do something small everyday for a big goal, you are moving forward.  It takes 5 minutes to watch a YouTube video, 2 minutes to look at a company or event’s website, or 3 seconds to google any question under the sun to find a 3 sentence summary to tell you what you need to know.  I had no clue what the Moth really was before this month, and now I can give you their 2016 schedule, topics, entry guidelines, and a recap of some of the recent story slam winners.  On that similar tangent – I’ve always found it interesting when people say they want something – house, car, experience, trip, etc – but they have no clue how much it costs or what it takes to get there.  You may not have the money now to buy the Mercedes you want or to fly to Paris, but nothing is stopping you from doing all the research you can now so you’re prepared when you do get the money, or the time, or an extra week of vacation, etc.  It makes you feel like you’re moving forward and it makes things feel more attainable.  If you just float around never knowing what it really takes to get those things, you’ll literally never get those things.

Good Storytellers Can Talk about Anything – I realized when I was listening to Moth talks that if someone is a good storyteller, it really doesn’t matter what they are talking about (well, that’s a little bit of an overstatement, but in general).  Some of my favorite talks were actually some of the weirdest or least interesting topics.  I have always been convinced that in life, people will buy-in to whatever you’re doing, selling, saying, etc. if you present yourself well and with confidence and I found it interesting to watch that play out when I watched people tell a story.

Go Underground – So the Moth is pretty popular.  It has a large following, it’s a podcast, there’s story slams, there’s larger events, etc, but for the most part the average person doesn’t really know what it is.  I am just thankful Angela introduced me to it.  With as many videos and speakers I’ve listened to over the years, I didn’t even know it existed.  This is just a reminder to me that if you share your interests and hobbies and dreams, life will hand you the right people who will point you in the right direction.  If I would’ve hid my passion for speaking, the Moth and I would’ve never crossed paths.  This just makes me think of how many other “underground” things are going on that I need to learn about!

Forgive Yourself – I didn’t hit the Moth stage this month.  If you read my recent post you saw my mention of weather and holidays and some other mumbo jumbo about not planning well for the couple events that were coming up that I could’ve traveled to.  After 12 months of blogging about goals, including the times that have been a struggle, it’s still an ego blow when you don’t deliver.  You have to learn to forgive yourself and surround yourself with people who will help you do that.  My husband and Angela and other friends quickly rescue me from myself when life and Christmas and windy weather get in the way.

Set Big Goals and Join Us – This is my last blog post in 2015.  This year has changed my life.  I’m fighting tears as I type this.  If you have been reading my stories, celebrating my adventures, encouraging me during my failures, investing energy alongside of me and the crazy stunts I’ve gotten myself into, or if you’ve sent me private messages, texts, and emails about this blog….THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  We set out to inspire others and pray we have done that by sharing our personal stories.  We committed to putting ourselves out there not to boast about our accomplishments, but to show you that you can do anything in the world that you want to do.  As for us, Angela and I, we are not done yet…we will be continuing this project for one more year, concluding in December 2016 with hopefully the biggest celebration two gals can have!  Our biggest hope for 2016 is that you not only follow our adventures, but that you would create your own.  My wish for you, dear loyal readers, friends, frenemies, and followers, is that you set the biggest freaking goals you can dream of and chip away at them a little at a time EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Go for the gusto.  Write the book.  Record the song.  Take the lesson.  Face your fears.  Volunteer your time.  Find what pulls on your heart and run towards it.  Lose weight.  Connect with people.  Be okay with feeling stupid.  Ask questions.  Share your story.  Your community of connections will grow larger than you ever thought, dreams will turn into reality, and you’ll likely have a steady stream of mascara running down your face as you cry from happiness on your December 31st blog post.

I freaking did it.