Prior to stepping on the ‘Red Dot’ this Saturday, I’d like to say a few things.

Back in August, I had my final “Big Idea” conversations with the TEDxMileHigh curators before they made their speaker selections. Now, on December 1st, 2018 I will be joined by 14 other speakers, performers, and artists to take the stage and share our ideas with the entire world. I’ve been blown away by this group of professionals, each with their own unique passions they’re preparing to present as we speak.

So now that we are in the home stretch, there are a few things I need to share.

This hasn’t been easy.

Preparing to be part of the TEDxMileHigh curation for RESET hasn’t come naturally. All the speakers you’ll hear from have poured months of their time and energy into bringing you the very best talk they can. It’s meant cross-country travel for some, time away from our families, and hours at our keyboards as we moved what’s been in our minds to paper…err, word document. The sense of community we have created since first meeting in September has been indescribable. No two of us are the same, but we are all connected through our willingness to step into the arena (yes, a Brene Brown shout out–I know you’re shocked).

We’re nervous.

When is the last time you opened up yourself and your work–placed it out in the open in a way that left you completely vulnerable to gratitude, criticism, love, or hatred? It’s scary…and I can say I’m nervous as hell. I’ve still got a little bit of that “imposter syndrome” where you’re surrounded by so much brilliance that you can’t help but think you don’t belong (Or in my terms: “She doesn’t even go here!”).

I have worked for so long on the perfect way to say each sentence that I don’t want to miss a word. I know it’s an unattainable goal, so I’m aiming to have a conversation with the audience instead–and hope to God I get my message across in a way that will land with at least one of you out there.

I’m not sharing the story you’ve heard before.

I’ve spoken publicly since 2007 following my attacker’s conviction. If you’ve followed any of my advocacy work since then, you may be familiar with my story I’ve told in various formats. This is going to be something totally different and something I’ve never shared before.

To all of those who have supported me along the way, thank you.

I couldn’t have made it this far without your love and help over the last 12 years. You’ve given me the courage to speak up time and time again, even when what I had to say wasn’t popular. And most importantly, you’ve never let me lose sight of what I stand for and who I am. Now more than ever, I look forward to hitting the ‘RESET’ button and starting a brand new chapter together.

No matter what happens this Saturday, I know that I’ll be walking off that stage to my tribe of supportive family, friends, and community of fellow speakers who are braving arena to make this world a better place.

See you December 1st!

If you haven’t already, be sure to get your tickets to the Denver event on TEDxMileHigh’s website before they sell out.