The most important lesson I had over the course of the (Jewish) year was the following one:
After giving both of my presentations in Bratislava, I was genuinely dissatisfied with them. I thought that I was too nervous, didn’t speak well enough, spoke with grammatical errors and that my accent wasn’t good.
I was so upset after they happened that I was on the verge of communicating with my family members in tears, thinking that I was a disgrace to my polyglot legacy and professional career.
I was genuinely scared for the talks to be posted online this week, but I was pleasantly surprised to recieve many messages saying how inspiring I was as a presenter, bringing my heritage languages and knowledge of places, languages and cultures threatened by climate change to one of the biggest conferences of its kind in the world.
There was genuinely nothing to be afraid of and I was judging myself way, way, way, way too harshly. And all the signs pointed to me having done a better job than my abysmal rating of myself.
I will have to cultivate self-mercy over the course of the coming year. Too often I have looked at my creative work sketches for “Nuuk Adventures” and thought “there is no way that this will sell at all”.
But the lessons of this year shows that we all have more strength than we estimate and that people are more forgiving than you think.
May Divine Mercy and self-love be with us all and a sweet 5780 to my Jewish friends!
Here are the presentations: