By Tanya Davis – download pdf

Because I believe in speaking the truth I will not sugar coat this or anything
Because I crave sugar like pandas want bamboo, I will chase honesty’s dose with hopes and daydreaming
I will honour my idealist by giving her ideals she can pursue
Because I believe in a meaningful life I will choose my work to reflect this, too

Simple statement. Hard to do.                        
But not impossible hard
Not hard like a revolution, like an ultimatum
sometimes hard like sacrifices, you might have to make them
For instance, I often choose life over money
debt over savings
I choose flexible schedule so I have time to play with
This decision-making, for me, is one of the perks of the world that we work in
It offsets some challenges, like when will I next be working
from where is the money coming
and you know those mondays in self-employment’s company
when you’re all like:
won’t somebody check up on me
impose upon me a schedule
be a boss i’m scared of
make me take a lunch break
pay me for a sick day
when will it be friday, anyway?

I choose these challenges over other ones because they suit my personality, as do the rewards
and I feel grateful to be able to live by my words
and with them
which is why I can’t mince them, or foolishly use them
’cause if my script is not congruent with my own life’s vision then whose script is it?

We are hired for our ability to communicate ideas
to facilitate missions
between concepts and people we are bridges
and no matter the differing views we speak to
what we first do is listen

That’s a skill I value, that’s a value I believe in

Because we believe, we can shape our own business
and when change comes we can change with it
no matter current trend or online widget
we have common sense beyond the newest gadget
even more than that we have community around us

See, here you are
speakers, coaches
trainers, keynoters
whatever your peculiar breed
this weekend make sure share your uniqueness
that place from where only you can speak

It’s good, yes?
We talk, they pay us
(some days more than others, let’s be honest)
some gigs more fun, but some more profit
and some bills more scary and so you take that job about computer process
even though you don’t know how to use microsoft office
and you call it a good day’s work

Me, I came to this by accident, I’m more of an alternative speaker.
I keep sneaking poetry to podiums and yet they keep asking me to be here

I do wonder what my expertise is, is it… curiosity?
Does that qualify? Should I put that in my 50 word bio?
I am good at wondering, I am wandering through life, seeking awe, like a tiny child
Sometimes I stumble into welcoming arms, I mean that’s the ideal scenario anyway

And so, in planning to poem for you today
I had a pang of glee, anticipating you would be weird word people like me
making work out of explaining things

Also, since you get paid to talk I thought, maybe there would be some pleasing voices present..
you know, the kind that make you feel better
that you could listen to like soothing music through bad weather
and you could go to bed with, like, I mean, in your headphones

Besides voices my ears want to be serenaded by I thought there’d be words my brain needs to hear
ideas worthy of being shared
plus all the compelling ways in which they are delivered

Why are you all here
besides for a getaway and lobster and maybe to be drunk on a halifax pier

There are other reasons why you showed up
why you signed up
why you stepped up to speak up
we get up, we seek some
who get us, we need them
to help us feel welcome
it’s cold out and life is so hard

Not always
not if we warm our hands at the same hearth

And no, there is not a fire here, it’s just a metaphor, this is just a convention
work is one of humanity’s more complex inventions
so when there’s a friendly place to convene it’s worth attending
a community to lean on and learn in is worth defending
if you can share as you grow then you belong to a social intervention
intervening in the misleading notion that we go it alone

We don’t

How did you get here?
How do you wish to continue?
How about to grow your business in co-existence with a network that supports you

All differences welcome
along with all the expertise
it is ALL CAPS and exclamation marks to honour all that we believe

Because we believe this work is worth doing
we will step up and show up to do it
we will sign up to help, we will speak up for help when we need it

Because I believe that my work has meaning
I will align my words with the life I wish to be living
because I believe truth is worth speaking
I will.