This last week I had the opportunity to appear on live TV for a local station. I shared two of my salad recipes from my cookbook, Fresh: Nourishing Salads for all Seasons. It scared me silly.
I am perfectly fine staying behind this computer screen, writing to you all from the comfort of words spoken off-screen. I like that I can edit what I write, and not be stuck with whatever happens to cross my lips in a five minute segment. More then that, I am comfortable here. I find it even therapeutic to write, whether it is on food, or something else dear to my heart.
Appearing on live television was completely, utterly out of my comfort zone. When I got an email inviting me on the show, I think the first word that crossed my lips were a long “noooooooooooooooo”. For those of you chomping on the bit to get on TV, let me explain why this was so hard for me.
I grew up the shiest little kid. In fact, my dad claims he wasn’t even sure I knew how to talk until I was three years old (my own beloved Dad!), because I was so shy I’d only talk to my mom. I was always easily embarrassed, easily flustered, and often took refuge in silence. I liked to watch other people talking and interacting.
I remember one time showing up for a youth party at our youth leaders house in junior high. None of my friends ended up coming, and only the super “popular” crowd was there. While I could always talk up a storm with my close friends, I didn’t like trying to push myself into someone else’s group of friends. They were nice enough, but definitely not any sort of friends of mine. I spent the night trying to escape notice while happily watching the interactions between the other teens, and the host couple (a newly married couple who were both quite young).
On my way to the bathroom, I glanced around their tiny little house, full of old wood floors kept shiny and clean, blushed at the words on the door hanger on their bedroom door which convened the desire to be left alone (did I mention they were newlyweds?), and admired the newness of their furniture. I helped in their old-fashioned kitchen, making cookies, and ate one while I wondered what it must be like to be married, to own a little house, and to be happy like they were. Would I marry young too? What would it be like to be kissed and held close like this young bride was? These were the type of thoughts that filled my mind the midst of a busy party of teens.
I was later happily munching on a carrot, when the youth leader found me out where I quietly was observing the often-silly antics of the others. “Hey!” He bellowed in friendly greeting, “What’s your name.” I practically choked on my carrot, the little harsh carrot shreds stuck in my mouth, suddenly dry. I needed to chew and shallow before I could answer. I was stuck, deer in the headlights, trying to decide to take ten seconds to chew and swallow before answering or answering with a mouthful of carrot, when someone chimed in, “That’s Kimmy”. I nodded a shy hello and quickly walked to the other side of the room where I could be quiet again. I wanted to observe and watch, and think without having to talk and interact with the “popular” crowd, of which I knew I had no part, a fact I was fine with.
That’s just a little picture of who I am and what I was. So, appearing on live TV? That is definitely a stretch for me. While I have certainly grown a lot since I was that shy junior high girl, and have even grown to enjoy speaking to groups, and yes, even having conversations with new people, live TV was completely out of my league.
As I worked through the emotions and conflicting thoughts I had about this opportunity, I realized that I had a choice. I could stay where I was comfortable, and there was nothing wrong with that. I don’t need to take every opportunity that comes my way. But I also recognized that I had a fear of failure that was holding me back. I didn’t want to do something hard because I didn’t want to fail or open myself up for criticism. The question I had to ask myself was whether I wanted to grow or not. Should I be happy the way I am and accept that is who I am? Or should I step outside my comfort zone, do a hard thing, and grow as a person?
In the end, with the encouragement of my husband, I decided to be brave and try something new. I took deep breaths, tried to focus on what I was sharing (some simple salads – how hard could it be?) and walked on the TV set with almost settled nerves.
And you know what the funny thing was? I actually enjoyed it. After all of the turmoil of deciding whether to accept or not, I wasn’t miserable doing it. I thought it was fun. My little five-minute segment was certainly rushed at the end, while the host and I quickly poured jar after jar of ingredient over a bed of lettuce to try to finish the second salad before our time ran out, but I still had fun! When the cameras moved away, and the floor managers told me how well it had gone, and I hugged my husband who had been watching from the audience, I had a lighter heart. I had conquered my fears, and come out victorious – not because the segment had gone well, though it did, but because I had faced my personal limitations, and went beyond them.
I am in a real season of stretching right now. I am also working on another, longer cookbook. I know that in writing it, I am putting myself out to a broader audience, which could be exciting, but it is also putting myself out there to be criticized. My insecurities, my love of my own comfort zone, and my desire to share my recipes with others are at war.
I am in the hard push of the end, writing and cooking for all I am worth and crossing my fingers that I can finish it on time. It has been a challenge to my personal character to not let the stress of a book deadline, and a pile of work to turn me into a frazzled, impatient mother. It has challenged me to find peace in my heart while having a busy schedule. It has made me ask questions to myself about what I want in my life, and how I can be the best mother and wife possible while using any gifts that I have in this realm.
I think that when it is done, I can leave with a lighter heart again because I will have the satisfaction of knowing that I am doing what is hard for me, that I am growing as a person, as I also grow in my kitchen skills, and hopefully some people are blessed with my cookbook too.
These are the thoughts I have had while I have used up all of the absolutely delicious Strawberry dressing I shared on the show. (I, apparently, only think when eating).
If you have managed to make it to the end of this post, then you deserve to get this yummy recipe. You can watch me on TV here, and get the Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad recipe here.
But enough about me. I’d love to hear from you and how you are being stretched and how you are growing as a person too.
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I watched the clip and you did very well. But then again, you’ve posted videos here before, so you’re probably more accustomed to presenting stuff for the camera than you realized. I bet I would have gotten tongue-tied and nervous.
My current job mostly involves sitting at a computer, doing research, writing reports and doing database work, and going to lots of meetings. More than a decade ago, though, I used to teach and actually did pretty well with it. I’m out of practice with giving presentations now, though. I’ve had to give a few in the past year, but while some have gone very well, the last one was a little scary because I got nervous and nearly forgot to breathe. I find that it really has a lot to do with how interested I am in what I’m talking about, and the last presentation was about a committee report which I had no interest in at all.
I think being interested in what you are talking about is crucial too!
That was great! Very nice job, and the salads look fantastic! I grew up in the Portland area and didn’t realize that is where you were located–was fun to see a clip from a morning news show I used to watch!
Good on you for putting yourself out there and having a go!
Oh Kimi, you described almost my exact personality as a little girl. My first grade teacher actually asked my mom if there were problems at home because I was so quiet. I am dealing with the same fears you describe as I have decided to take my online business in a completely new direction and am currently in the process of writing an e-book. It terrifies me to think of a larger audience being exposed to my thoughts and ideas, but it is the direction I feel good about. I also am going to be making a lot of YouTube videos in the near future, which scares me even more! I hate having attention centered on me, so standing in front of a video camera all by myself is quite terrifying. Thank you for sharing your story, I’m sure it will inspire others as it did me.
I am glad my little story was an encouragement. 🙂 Good success to you!
Thanks for this recipe – my CSA gave us strawberries this week! And kudos on stretching yourself.
You are welcome! I love the dressing for this salad. Yum!
Kimi – you’re awesome. I so relate to the shyness! Many congratulations on stretching yourself and trying something so daring! I’ve seen a few videos you’ve done on here and they’re always great! I loved in the TV segment how you got to talk about using higher quality ingredients rather than inferior oils that come w/ supermarket salad dressings.
Would you mind sharing your olive oil and balsamic vinegar resources? I don’t see that you have a “resources” page… I’ve long wanted to order from Chaffin Orchards but have no idea re: balsamic. I’ve got a big bottle from Costco I guess I have to use up first. Cheeseslave did a great interview w/ the owner of Chaffin and ever since I’ve wanted to order from them just haven’t yet.
Nice job, Kimi.
Annie, I don’t know if this is what Kimi uses but I like it and it’s also one they sell at Radiant Life Catalog.
I used bionature organic balsamic vinegar because it is high quality without being super-pricy. No need to use a super-expensive vinegar in this dressing, as the strawberries had a lot of flavor.
You did great! The salads look fantastic! Good job!
Hi Kimi, You did so good and I’m glad you conquered your fear and did the TV segment. I will check out your goat cheese and strawberry salad. Thanks for the inspiration!
Nice job! I expected less for your first time. 🙂
I am sure that teaching cooking classes (and teaching piano) since High School helped me a lot. It just seemed like it was going to be so much harder when you put cameras in front of you! 🙂
Shirley @ gfe
Kimi, you did a beautiful job! Congrats! 🙂
You are just too darn cute for words! You did a great job!
Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy
great job!! congratulations! and that salad sounds delicious:)
Like you, I was a reasonably shy and quiet child. All my school reports said that I needed to speak up more in class…..anyway next weekend I am doing my first ever sermon at church! With no formal theological training, just my own study and research……I’m very nervous about it, but I think it will be good to do.
You did a wonderful job on TV! I was so excited when I saw you were on there. This post is very encouraging and glad I am not the only one who still is facing their fears. I still feel like an awkward kid when those moments come just had one of those moments doing my first official photo shoot, I survived through it haha and even got some pictures taken that they are happy with.
You did a great job! I love your cook book and am so glad you are writing another!! Not only are your recipes super yummy, I love having them in a ‘real’ book. It’s much handier than going to the computer all the time for recipes… As for being stretched… Life has been rather difficult for us for the last two years and as a result my health has suffered… now I do take part of the blame for my declining health.. I see now how all my worry and anxiousness did nothing to change our circumstances, all it did was hurt myself and my family… I’m learning to be at peace and trust God with our living situation and search for employment. I have learned that I CAN cook for our family of seven on a single hotplate, although it’s challenging and I don’t prefer it, I will NEVER take a real stove for granted again! (a stove is contingent on my husband finding a job) One bathroom and 1,000 square feet isn’t ideal for 7 people either, but it can work… and when that bathroom is out of service for months at a time, an outhouse isn’t the end of the world…. I could go on and on about the hardships with this particular house, but am thankful we have a place to live…. More than anything though, my faith is being stretched… having faith that he will provide our needs…
Kimmi you did great! Having a little girl who is very much like you, I had tears of pride while I read this post. thank you. you inspire me.
Hey Kimi, You mentioned in your dressing recipe to put it all in the food processor and then transfer too a jar. When making dressing, I use a regular mouth mason jar, add all the salad dressing ingredients and add the blender blades. Pulse a few times until combined. Works great for me and a great time saver. Blessings!