BANGALORE, India – Giving the keynote speech at the Under 25 Summit in front of the largest gathering of Artidotees to date to reveal a new chapter in the evolution of The Artidote. Sunday February 18, 2018. Photos courtesy of Under 25 Club

When Dreams are Bigger Than Fears

In front of 2500+ people (with hundreds of Artidotees in the audience), I attempted to be my most vulnerably honest self. From the start, I revealed to the audience that I didn’t have a speech prepared for that night. Purposely. Because I did not want to appear perfect, but human.

Instead, I relaxed into the moment and shared my history of social anxiety, the years of bullying, depression, fear, heartache, life-ache and every consequential thing in between that had brought me to that moment, speaking live in front of 2500+ souls.

I was offering myself up as a mirror; I was letting the underdogs in the crowd know that I am on their side. That I’ve always been on their side: an introvert with dreams bigger than his fears. #TeamUnderdogs

First Ever Local Chapter of The Artidote

The highlight of that moment would come near the end of my time on stage when, after various questions from the audience were answered, the revelation was made: The Bangalore Chapter of The Artidote will be the first offline Artidote community.

Bridging the gap from URL to IRL is perhaps my most ambitious dream with The Artidote. I want to build Artidote Chapters across the world. Imagine getting to know other Artidotees in your area. Or better yet, imagine one day visiting a new city far away from your home and, in the midst of the unknown, you get to meet members of this extended family and form long lasting bonds. This is a privilege and a blessing that I personally get to enjoy whenever I now travel and I’d like to also gift this possibility to every Artidotee out there.

The Work Ahead

Saying that there’s a lot of work ahead is an understatement. But for the following months, The Bangalore Chapter will serve as a pilot program to understand the structure and resources necessary to make it a thriving and supportive Artidote community that could serve as a model for future Chapters. Of course, I will be keeping you updated along the way.

2018 is proving to be the most formative year for this project and, I’m very happy and excited to say, this is just the beginning. Thank you for all of your support throughout this journey.

All the love,