This year has been a very interesting one. I have had the incredible privilege of travelling, camping, and attending a few conferences through work and vacations this year. I have met incredible people and have had the pleasure of being invited to speak.
In the past week, I attended the British Columbia Museum Association conference. It was excellent. We discussed change, repatriation, First Nations people, language and more. I was invited with my colleagues to talk about environmental education and inclusivity in volunteer programs. This thanksgiving weekend I feel totally thankful for the opportunity to share my thoughts.
But there was a bit of a cloud. During my presentation, my emotions broke through my skin. I cried. My colleagues jumped up to help me but I pushed through and explained what was happening. I got through but I haven’t yet unpacked what happened to me. Crying while giving a presentation to your peers is not easy.
My emotions have always sat directly under my skin. I have very little ability to stop an emotion from entering a situation. I have lived with depression and anxiety and it is tough. It is tough as a science minded lady to be scared of your own feelings. It is tough to know your irrational fears and misguided emotion can affect every part of you.
In this conference, we dealt with very real issues. I met wonderful people who resonate with me. I felt the feelings of many situations that I had the pleasure of hearing. So, when it was my turn to speak, it was hard to hide how frustrated I’ve been with feeling unsupported. I cried at thinking how people are dismissed because we don’t think they are competent enough to help us. I am devastated at the state of the world and how defeated we all feel.
But it was worth it. Sometimes I forget that our emotions resonate with others. Two wonderful humans shared their equally emotional stories with me.
I still cry. I will always cry. I will always be willing to let my emotions push through my skin.
Though this does not fit into my usual science communication posts, I think it is important. Don’t filter your feelings. Emotion is what connects us. Even though I know that I feel emotions disproportionately to the situation, I still will enjoy that I feel. And I am happy to share, and to be shared with.