Start Anew

You know how there are always those moments during games like Truth or Dare, or just during the course of general conversation at parties, when people go, “Okay, what’s the most embarrassing moment of your life?”

And how after that question, there’s always that moment when everybody gives an awkward laugh, and you wonder about the wisdom of sharing something like the most embarrassing moment of your life to these people, and whether you’re even ready to share it for public consumption.

And then you find yourself rewinding to that time, walking down memory lane to relive the (painful, in my case) memory.

So what do you do when you have embarrassed yourself in the most humiliating way possible, and on a public platform?

Well, I know what I did.

So this is what happened…

When she got the call that night that she was one of the finalists for the city wide elocution competition, she was over the moon. A city wide contest, and she was selected? She never in her wildest dreams would’ve thought she was that good. Well, who was she to question the good fortune that had fallen into her lap?

At 9 pm that night, a few minutes after that fateful call, she received the topic that she had to talk on the next day. It was something she had absolutely no clue or opinion about. And she had to pontificate on the subject for over five minutes the next morning. Could she do it? She contemplated dropping out. But then, if she never tried, she would always have that nagging thought at the back of her mind about what could have happened. She could either win or lose, but she would do neither if she didn’t give it a shot, would she?

The next morning, as she went up on stage, she was outwardly cool and composed, but inside, she was one big ball of nerves. Her biggest nightmare every time she took to a stage was forgetting her lines. Fortunately, she had never had the misfortune of having to experience that disaster. But what if today was different? And what if it happened, in front of one of the largest audiences she’d ever stood before?

She began to speak.

Three fourths into her speech, she choked.

The very thing that she swore would never happen to her, however must she’d dreamed of it, had happened. She was living her nightmare.

She stood frozen, wide eyed and stricken, like a deer caught in the headlights.

As she stood there, trying to recollect her lines, and salvage the situation somehow, a few students in the audience began booing. Few second later, there was applause, anticipating the end of the debacle.  Whoever said high school students couldn’t be the meanest people on earth?

But she refused to be cowed, and swore to finish the talk, no matter what. And she did.

That experience scarred me for a really long time. Even though I’d finished the speech, I knew it was a rough shod job, and after that I was so so scared of getting back to the stage. But I knew that if I put it off too long, I would never get over the fear, and that I would never accept, because despite my fear, I still loved the stage. I knew I had to start anew

So a year later, at a similar competition, I stepped onto the stage again.

And this time, I won.


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