Today is a guest post from Amy Oestreicher sharing more in depth about her TEDx talk and how she made it happen!
Amy is an artist, speaker, writer, and entrepreneur. She wrote a one-woman-show, Gutless & Grateful, which she’s taken to campuses and conferences nationwide. Frankly, I’m not sure when she sleeps because she’s always doing something new and exciting! Without further ado, here’s Amy!
From a happy-go-lucky musical theater teen, to surviving sexual abuse, a coma, six years without food or drink, and 27 surgeries, it’s been a very long, detoured journey, and it still isn’t over yet.
But what makes the journey meaningful, and ultimately rewarding, is the ability to share, and know that you can possibly help someone through their own “detours.” Something I’ve learned over time, is that a Detour is Not a Dead End – which was the title of my April TEDx Talk (watch here)!
Giving the talk was a thrilling experience. Even being such a shameless musical theater ham that I am, this was the most nervous I’ve ever been. Actually, I didn’t realize how nervous I was until I was done…and I started basically hyperventilating!
“How do you get a TEDx Talk?”
Many people have reached out to me and have asked “what it takes” to “get” a TEDx Talk.
Something I’ve learned along the way, like everything else, and I hate to say this, but there is no “quick easy way” to get a TEDx Talk…or anything else, to be honest. When I make up my mind I sort of take on an all or nothing mentality. Moderation is definitely not my forte! [Editor’s note: Balance is something I’ve worked hard to acquire and I’m happy to share more about that!]
Getting a TEDx Talk took hours of googling calls for speakers for a few months, then writing a ton of essays – an application for TEDx is basically like applying for college. You have to write many well-crafted essays and it’s really not just about being a good motivational speaker with an inspiring message.
Although difficult to finally get a TEDx talk, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I’ve learned, through over a decade of medical crises, that we are able to heal when we tell our stories. And that is precisely what I did. A TEDx talk tells a story. Like their catch phrase says, TEDx is all about “ideas worth spreading.”
TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design. The goal of TED Talks are to better ourselves and our world.
What was my idea worth spreading? That someone who follows life’s unexpected detours and searches for the flowers along the way to make their journey meaningful is, in fact, a Detourist.
Detours Worth Spreading
I felt that this idea was worth spreading, simply because when I started to approach my personal journey as just a detour in life that I could navigate myself, it really made the bumpy ride ahead of me a lot easier to manage. Suddenly, I felt like I had control of the unexpected path. Being a Detourist empowered me with a sense of ownership, at a time when life felt very uncertain.
Detours in life can be tough to navigate, which is why I wanted to share my story. I wanted to help people navigate their detours. That’s why I call myself a Detourist.
Specifically, my stomach exploded (Seriously – it’s in the talk which you can watch here.).
My life didn’t go as planned but that wasn’t the end of my journey.
A Detourist travels along detours – simple enough. But in addition, a Detourist embraces those unexpected routes as opportunities for growth, change and self-fulfillment. I hope to serve as living proof that a detour can lead to unexpected blessings. Because of my Detour, I’ve learned so much about myself, my world, and the strength I never even knew I had.
As the nature of detours go, after I gave this talk, my life took another detour – in the shape of a very unexpected and upsetting divorce. So although the talk has an “unfinished” ending, that is truly the nature of detours – by trusting our path, one foot in front of the other, with time, we eventually find our flower. Sometimes, you don’t really “love” your detour. But you still can trust it.
I still feel that through sharing our own detours, even if they’re not so great in the moment, makes us all stronger. So that’s why I share. We keep moving forward, trusting our detours, one day at a time.
Hope you enjoy the talk, and feel free to share – the more we share our detours, the easier they are to navigate.
What is your idea worth spreading?
If you’d like to learn more about Amy’s speaking, or catch her touring Gutless & Grateful, her one woman musical, to theaters, colleges, conferences and organizations nationwide. Learn about her mental health advocacy programs for students, and find out how to take part in the#LoveMyDetour movement, and learn about her upcoming book, My Beautiful Detour at www.amyoes.com.
Amy is really inspiring to me because she lets NOTHING stop her from sharing her story. She is singularly focused on spreading her message (and it’s an important one!). Check out her goal post interview here for more about her professional journey. I’ve gone through my own list of detours, one of which I shared on Amy’s site here, but of course, much of my history is in my memoir here.
If you want some help figuring out your next steps or getting more clarity about your place in life, I really recommend picking up a copy of my journal guide, TRANSFORM TO THRIVE. It has 32 days worth of exercises and contemplations to help you transform crisis into opportunity, no matter where you are in life.
There are lots of opportunities in life, and if you’re committed to your message, you may be surprised at how many will be available to you.
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