It helped to have something to worry about. The morning had been full of emotion. I began by welcoming attendees for the day, sharing a little bit about my love of my neighborhood and my neighbors. After introducing the first talk, I got to listen before eventually carrying around a microphone when we got to the question phase. Then it was my turn to again take the podium.
After some fumbling with slides, I stood in front of the crowd and did my thing. It wasn't hard. I didn't even really need the slides. I'm intimately familiar with the things I work on. I've been working on them, in some capacity, since 1993 or so.
When I finished the programmed content, I took a step back, and shared some other things. Unlike the neighborhood promotion or the work I do, this was rather more personal. For nearly 15 years, I have been a proponent of the community that works to build and distribute this software. Some of the good things about that community can be laid at my doorstep. Alas, some of the dysfunction can, too. But as I shared my intentions, my voice faltered. I needed to do what I was doing, but change is not always easy when something has become ingrained in your life to the point of melding with your identity.