I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and the Five Minute Friday Crowd to write about this week’s prompt: Crowd. The rules are simple. Write for five minutes, don’t worry about editing and perfection, and then post and link up.
I awoke with fear clutching my throat. What if I get up there and I can’t do it? What if I feel so nervous I have to run out the door of Matheson Hall and be sick during the presentation? What if?
The morning of my final presentation for And the Blackbirds Mock, which I wrote for my Honors Scholarship/Senior Project, had arrived, and my two weeks of fretting about it had done me ill. I have presented many times throughout my college career, but this one felt so important and huge that it brought me to tears when I thought about actually doing it. If I failed, I would not graduate (I thought, and it may be true). If I do not graduate, I do not know what I will do, because I am done with classes.
Yikes. My mind works in an awful way sometimes. I arrived early to Matheson Hall, which used to be a small chapel and has stained-glass windows and red carpet and wooden beams in the ceiling. I pulled a table in front of me and sat on a cushy red bench and laid my precious manuscript in front of me.
The people began to trickle in: my husband, my good friend, my professors and advisors. More of them came than I thought would, and I stared at them and listened to my thumping heartbeat. What if I fa–I began to say to myself, but then I stopped. In the faces of the crowd, I saw only care, love, support. No one wanted me to fail. No one wanted me to feel overly nervous.
And so I smiled at them, prepared my voice for inflections galore, introduced my project, and read its first chapter.
At the presentation’s end, they came to me and told me how much they appreciated my presentation, my story, even my writing. I realized that these people had given me the courage to stay calm and even—yes—have FUN! I would do it all again in an instant, but I’d save myself the pain of weeks of anxiousness beforehand, because I now know I had nothing to fear from my sweet chapel crowd.
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