“To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around.”
– Richie Norton
You may have noticed, I’ve been a little absent this past two weeks.
I have reasons, I swear.
On the sixteenth of June, my best friend of twenty-one years married the love of her life.
It was beautiful. It was hilarious. It was emotional. It was exhausting.
I was a bridesmaid you see, and my boyfriend Ben, he was best man.
Now our friends who were married, they’re possibly the most relaxed people in the world.
They didn’t care about wedding traditions or expectations. They just wanted to be married and have a fun evening with their friends and family.
However, a few expectations needed to be met to appease the parentals, and that meant a Best Man speech!
Ben isn’t a public speaker.
Ben is barely comfortable in his own skin.
He wanted to do it, he didn’t want to let the Bride and Groom down, but his nerves kept getting the better of him.
I decided the best way to support him, was to offer to do a speech of my own.
And so, I wrote something. And read that something aloud, to room of fifty people.
Ben (not photographed above btw, this was the second bridesmaid) was up first.
His nerves were totally getting the better of him, his hands were shaking, his heart was racing, and when he stood up; he killed it.
He was amazing.
He was funny and witty and charming and had the crowd roaring with laughter, and I couldn’t have been more proud of him for over coming his fears.
Then there was me. Short answer, I kind of bombed.
I was so preoccupied with all the other wedding preparations and supporting Ben that I hadn’t even taken a moment to think that I was about read, out loud, something which I had personally written.
That little fact only dawned on me when I realised that I was up next.
I was deathly pale, I had cold sweats, I was shaking like a leaf, and I sort of vomited a little in my mouth – gross, I know, I’m sorry.
I couldn’t make eye contact with anyone, I couldn’t read from my speech because my vision had become so clouded I couldn’t make out the words.
I had to wing it, relying mostly on my horribly fractured memory.
But you know what? I did it.
I stood up, alone, in a room of fifty odd people, and I read my own words, even if I did stumble all over them.
I did it. And I couldn’t be happier, even if it was a disaster.
I’ve had a crazy busy work schedule since that day. I currently in the middle of a solid 14 day work stint without a day off. This morning was actually my first opportunity for a lie in, and I still woke up at six am -damn you internal clock.
The point is; hey, I’m back. And better yet, I’ve started writing something. Something I fully intend to start posting here within the next few weeks.
If I can bomb while reading aloud to a room of people, I can bomb online while cowering under a blanket on my couch.
I’ve faced my fear and, even though it was bad, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.