According to a personality test, I am 98% introverted, and there I was at the COY12 having to talk to an endless array of people, switching from one climate activist to another every couple of minutes, describing to them what Earthbound is, what the Green School is, and what All ages All access is.
At first, it was absolutely nerve wrecking. I could barely form words let alone have full conversations. I had my classmate with me and we were talking to two young climate activist who study at the Cadi Ayyad University, the university the COY was being held at. Not too far into the conversation, I told them that I was half French, which meant that I could speak French. French is not my first language and I haven’t really spoken to many people in French since the age of 14, so not only was I nervous to speak in general, but I had to speak in a language that made me feel that much more uncomfortable. To make things even better, my classmate left me on my own (I don’t hold it against her though as she doesn’t speak any French). As we took turns to speak (or stutter, in my case), answering each other’s questions, I noticed his hands shaking slightly, which made me realise that most people are just as nervous to speak to others as I am – except, not only are they nervous, but they also have the guts to approach other people and start conversations.
Realising that I was not the only nervous person at the COY helped me a lot later on as I continued to speak to so many others. It was quite interesting thinking back on what I thought I would be like in that situation and how I turned out to be. Even thought I messed up in the beginning, stuttering a lot, it got a lot easier by the end.
Written By Alia Le Baube
2 thoughts on “Don’t Be COY”
I hear you. You’re braver. I strolled overt to the other booths, and found everyone speaking French. You can imagine how i felt, only understanding Spanish cognates…But the energy felt the same, for the other side. They really wanted to talk with me, too. Great write up,Alia!!
Daisyʻs Dad here. I love your post. I know Daisy must be going through much the same process. There are many kinds of courage in the world, but the most positive and powerful bonds of connection come from face to face sharing, and sharing across cultures is always challenging. Power to you and all your fellow student change makers at COP 22. Keep the posts coming! They mean a lot to those of us following your journey.