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Say the word “diva” and it brings a picture to mind. It can be positive or negative depending where you’re coming from. For me it depends on the situation. When Beyoncé says it in her song “Diva”, I like it. “Diva is the female version of the hustler.” I feel an energy change and feel all tough. Say it to me in dance or writing, no. I refuse to be a diva. I will become a diva about not being a diva. It’s important to me to be easy to work with. Overall, I do not consider myself a diva.

Today my mom and I did a Tea 101 presentation. She’s done a couple since we closed the physical shop. I haven’t. Walking in, I felt good. I felt I could do the presentation in my sleep. We open discussing what defines a tea, go into tea production, and finish with the tea families. I’m looking forward to speaking again, getting in front of an audience, making them laugh and enjoy learning.

We have pictures of the different stages in production so people can see what we’re talking about. I’m organizing them in their order of go and, all of a sudden, I went blank. Where did this picture go? How do you make tea? I couldn’t believe it. I studied Pu’er in China. I made tea. I went through these steps. What do you mean, how do you make tea?

“I just went blank,” I told mom.

“Do you want me to do the presentation and you Vanna White?” No. I didn’t drive down here to smile and pass plates and photos. I can remember the tea families so I ask if she can open the talk and I’ll close it.

“Okay. I’m starting. Okay,” she says. We’re introduced and she starts the program. She does a great job, as she always does. She’s a former school teacher. This is nothing.

We’ve defined tea and start into production. I’m starting to remember our talk and feeling silly for panicking. I Vanna White, hold up the picture for all to see before handing it to the front row and asking them to pass it around. We get to firing or steaming of green teas and she didn’t mention this is what keeps the teas green.

“It also keeps the tea green,” I say quietly to her. She hands me the mic. I dive in and finish the production talk. As she walks around the table with another photo, I hear my mom say, “Ha, tricked her into doing it.” Not in a nasty way.

And that’s when I realized it: I’m a diva. All I was missing was the vanity table surrounded with lights, me in a silk robe, saying “I can’t go on”. That’s pretty much what I did (and since I’m a diva we can pretty much make the vanity table happen). Where else was I doing this?

As I fielded questions about terroir, production, and plant age, I hear Beyoncé’s “Diva” in my head. Mom opened the show and I jumped in and took over. I couldn’t open. And that I thought I was the show. Really?

What I loved was my mom knew this. I joked about it on the way home and she just smiled. She’s only known me my whole life and knows how I am. Knows me better than me.

It was kind of freeing learning of my diva moments. I can address it and use it to my advantage. Like create a rider or insist flowers and chocolate at every performance or it’s a no go. 🙂

Have you ever had one of these realizations? Let me know in the comments.

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