Speaking at TEDxYouth @ Walnut

TEDx Aileen Xu

Over the weekend, I had the honor of speaking at TEDxYouth at Walnut. Speaking at a TED event had been a life goal of mine since college, so this experience was quite literally a dream come true.

This was my first time giving a true “talk.” The whole experience was new and exciting (read: nerve-wracking). My talk was titled, “Discovering the elements of Joy.” It was about breaking down joy, discovering the elements where joy can come from, and using that knowledge to be more aware of joy and create more of it in our lives.

This was initially a concept I came up with after analyzing my own moments of joy in my journal, half a year ago or longer. It has inspired me so much since then. I originally wanted to turn it into a video series, but once the TEDx opportunity came up, I knew it was the perfect topic to turn into a talk.

The full video of my speech will be posted on the TEDx website and YouTube channel in about a month or so, and I can't wait to be able to share it with you all! But for now, photos will have to do.

TEDxYouth Aileen Xu
TEDxYouth Aileen 2

I worked on writing this speech for months—I decided on this topic during the first week of December last year. The work itself went through several edits (after a ton of procrastination and fear of writing it in the first place). And then I spent the final two weeks rehearsing: first, recording myself delivering the speech, and then putting that tape on repeat and following along during drives. I'd also listen to the recording on my phone while taking a walk through my neighborhood. During the final week, I made it a point to physically stand up and practice the speech with my entire body several times each night, with a mirror and without. We also had to record ourselves giving the speech and turn in the video. I got some feedback from watching that video and tweaked my delivery accordingly.

I share this information because I want to show the effort that goes into making these things happen. Rather than just celebrate and highlight the performance, I want to share all the hard work, dedication, and heart that went behind it. If you subscribe to my mailing list, you'll know why I made sure to practice so hard this time. *sheepish face*

In the end, I had such a blast on stage. I realized that speaking blends all the gifts & experiences that I've had: writing, performing, dancing, singing, acting. I thought that my first time speaking would feel entirely new, but it actually felt quite familiar. Aside from the content itself, speaking on stage is not too different from acting, singing, or dancing on stage, because it still is a performance. And since I've been performing all of my life, I felt at home. (Man, am I grateful for that.)

There is so much to be grateful for. I sincerely appreciate all the love and support I had that day! Thank you to my cousins, brother, boyfriend, and friends who came to watch my first talk. It means the world. These are people who hold a very special place in my heart. Shoutout to Donna, Paul, Calvin, Elvis, Wilson, Hyun, Jason, Cherie, Elaine & the TEDx team, and everyone who came up to say hi. Sprinkling lots of love to you all from my screen to yours~~

TED Aileen Donna
TEDx Aileen Elvis
TED Aileen Wilson

And lastly, shout out to all the amazing speakers that day! The stage was blessed with such inspiring, passionate, and empowering people. Everyone has a story to share. Everyone is worthy. Everyone is valuable in their own unique way. I totally saw that truth on the TEDx stage. If we each live out our passion and purpose, then we can change our own corner of the world. And collectively, our individual efforts will make the world a more beautiful place.

TEDx Speakers
TEDx Aileen Lavendaire

Woo! We did it! And this is just beginning… 🙂

How much do you really know about yourself?

Discover more about yourself and what you want out of life with this free downloadable list of 30 self reflection journaling prompts.

Lavendaire Weekly Planner 11
weekly reset planner
Featured Posts