Friday, December 13, 2013

There and Back...

After traveling the country and talking to thousands of people, it's hard for me to imagine myself as an awkward preteen who was afraid of public speaking.  I always felt ugly.  My head was too big.  My teeth weren't straight.  My nose was too round.  I had acne and was unfashionable.  When I watched TV, there was no one that looked like me… especially not the leading heartthrob.  I always felt gangly and out of place.

For years, I gave my power to others.  I gauged my self-worth through the appraising eyes of everyone else but myself and I hid my potential, so that I wouldn't stand out and get attention.  I thought it was safer to be in the shadows.  I was convinced that I would be some unloved thing for the rest of my life.

Until… I made a decision.  I decided that it was time for a change and that I was going to take control.  Only I knew my own self worth.  No one else.  No one else could make me feel less than or not enough.  I would not be some unloved thing, because I had the power to love myself.

This realization allowed me to embrace my self-confidence.  I didn't shy away from the things that interested me.  I didn't fear what others would say about me.  I learned to play the hand I was dealt and by accepting myself, I opened the door to many great opportunities.  (Also, puberty helped fill things out and make me look less like a bobble head.)

In fairy tales, the hero vanquishes the enemy.  They slay the monster and everyone lives happily ever after.  In "real life" though, the demons we face don't die… we just outgrow them or learn to live with them.

When I talked with Katie about doing the show, I was my self-affirmed self.  I was the teacher.  I was the salesperson.  I was the person who could talk the ear off of almost anyone.

But… in the night, that awkward preteen emerged from the shadows.  He's sneaky like that.

Even though friends and peers told me not worry, I couldn't help it.  Even I told myself not to fret too much.  But there I was, tossing and turning.

As the time grew closer, I became increasingly more agitated.

After a stressful, white knuckle drive through the snow and traffic, I made it.  I saw my friends and we went out to dinner.  It was a lot of fun, but by the end of the night, I found myself shaking.  I told myself that it was the cold, but I could feel that former self laughing at me.

When I finally settled into my hotel room and discovered that some very important things were missing, I made a decision:  What will be, will be.

Here's a behind the scenes shot of the Beads, Baubles and Jewels taping.  During the course of the preparation for the filming, I joked about my apprehensions, but it wasn't coming from a place of insecurity, but a place of just wanting to do a good job.  It also helped that I was surrounded by such wonderful people.  It was a true pleasure to be with Candie Cooper, Kristal Wick, Patti Bullard, and Katie Hacker.  They were well versed in the ways of TV and were happy to help answer questions or powder my extra shiny face.  The staff at KS Productions was also extremely helpful and very easy to work with.  I didn't know what to expect, but they were a kind and friendly bunch.

As it was happening, I was a little nervous, but the strangest of things… I actually liked it.  The format of our segment was very conversationally based and it was easy to chat with Katie and talk about things that were near and dear to me.

Of course, in hindsight, I wish that I could have said things a little bit differently and maybe smiled a little more, but the crew said that I did a good job and that we didn't have to do any additional retakes, so… I think it was a success!

The whole way back home, I was thinking of ways that I might consider doing more filming.  I'd love to be able to share more of the things that I've learned along the way.  Maybe a series of short YouTube videos?  You never know!  Hopefully they'll have me back on Beads, Baubles and Jewels!

(I also wanted to make a note of appreciation for all the kind words people wrote on Facebook.  It was incredibly helpful and I am truly grateful for my amazing support system!  You guys rock!)


Lori Bowring Michaud said...

Congratulations on all counts Andrew (and yes, it would be great so see you in some youtube instructional videos!)!

Works From The Attic by Linda said...

Congratulations Andrew! I hope you enjoyed your trip to Cleveland! You could do YouTube video's easily! Be sure to let us know when the segment airs!

Michelle Mach said...

I always get nervous before teaching a class. A wise friend told me that I get nervous because I care about doing a good job. When I stop getting nervous, then I should be worried!

Patti said...

Andrew, I feel my life is definitely richer because I had the chance to meet you at Beads, Baubles, and Jewels. Your wisdom coupled with such a creative sense of humor is priceless. Then, top that off with your genuineness! I hope our paths cross again soon-maybe Tucson? Take care, and I can't wait to see your episode on BB &J!!!

Andra said...

OMG videos by Andrew Thornton! Yes, please! Just meeting you the one time made me realize what a wonderful person you are and for you share your knowledge and talent with the world would be fantastic!

TesoriTrovati said...

Because I know you and have met you and have chatted with you, I can bet that you will be great! I can't wait to see this segment. What fun to see all the behind the scenes stuff and what an honor to be selected to participate. Enjoy the day! Erin

Unknown said...

I knew you would do GREAT!

Gaea said...

Bravo! I can not wait to see your finished work! Congratulations! :)

Bright Circle said...

Congratulations on appearing on BB&J! You earned it. You're an excellent conversationalist and designer, you are knowledgeable and articulate about your craft, and (not to be creepy) a handsome man to boot. :D

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

Has this aired yet? I hope I can catch it.

Yes to the YouTube idea!

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

Until you told me this, I had no idea you ever felt awkward ever. You have always seem so poised. I have always thought you were great, as you are a person who invariably gives more than you get EVERY time. You give it your all!
So I cannot wait to see more of you in whatever you choose to do, Andrew!