Stage Fright

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(Flash fiction from September 2014)

Song Bird Songs

stage

The moment she’d dreaded had come, much perfected notes clasped in sticky palms, stomach churning she stepped onto the platform. Before her stood the microphone, focusing on it she approached, postponing the moment when she’d have to turn to the sea of faces she knew were watching her every move. Panic in her heart said run, but she couldn’t run, if she didn’t deliver the speech who would?
She remembered the sea of forgotten faces, eyes that looked at her in hope. She couldn’t do this alone, she needed help and to get it she must overcome her fears, her inner nature.
“Do it for them! Do it for them dam you!”
Placing her notes on the podium she looked up holding back the urge to vomit. Her knees faltered, her voice wouldn’t come, she stood mesmerized. The audience, already bored with morning speeches, looked on at her cynically as…

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Battles With Shyness.

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(From June 2014

Song Bird Songs

shyness

I’ve always been shy. As a child I hid behind my mother’s skirts, turned every shade of red when spoken to (still do sometimes.) I’ve heard the term “painfully shy” – that says it all. It was certainly painful at school with its loud mouthed bullies.

At adolescence I learnt to overcome it, learnt not to care what people thought, defiantly going the opposite direction with my outlandish clothes and escapades. I decided “to hell with trying to be like my peers, I’d let lose my creative side and claim supremacy!” (There was of course a great degree of arrogance in this!)

Abandoning the perceived restrictions of my environment I learnt to aim high, miraculously gaining a fine arts degree in a low class neighborhood where kids seldom attained the modest GCSE level. I discovered strangely that my shyness didn’t extend to public speaking (I could act any role). Even…

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Those “little things”

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lunarbaboon

(Pic. from lunarbaboon)

I’m often amazed at how those “little things” can affect us, the encouragement that lifts our spirits when we are about to quit, the kind words from a stranger that make our day etc.

I used to sometimes help on charity collections for various causes. I’m not good at that kind of stuff (quite shy and introverted). The only thing that worked for me was to just try to make as many folks smile as possible (regardless of contributions). I soon found myself interacting with all kinds of people and was amazed what nice folks there were around.I also found what a difference a few kind words could make to lift someones day.  I even had one guy come back to tell me that he’d been on his way to commit suicide but after talking with me for a while had decided instead to give give his life to some good cause to “make a difference”.

Truly we never know what a smile and a few words may accomplish. I’ve tried since that time to overcome my shyness and leave a trail of smiles behind wherever I go. I don’t always manage it as well as some “naturals” but it feels good when I try.

Battles With Shyness.

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shyness

I’ve always been shy. As a child I hid behind my mother’s skirts, turned every shade of red when spoken to (still do sometimes.) I’ve heard the term “painfully shy” – that says it all. It was certainly painful at school with its loud mouthed bullies.

At adolescence I learnt to overcome it, learnt not to care what people thought, defiantly going the opposite direction with my outlandish clothes and escapades. I decided “to hell with trying to be like my peers, I’d let lose my creative side and claim supremacy!” (There was of course a great degree of arrogance in this!)

Abandoning the perceived restrictions of my environment I learnt to aim high, miraculously gaining a fine arts degree in a low class neighborhood where kids seldom attained the modest GCSE level. I discovered strangely that my shyness didn’t extend to public speaking (I could act any role). Even in my private life I learnt to overcome my timidity though as Wolverine said, “it hurts like hell every time!”

Now in my later years when, pride diminished, I look back and ponder, I make a realization. What fueled my vision, my creativity, wasn’t it those very times alone taking in the wonders of creation, seeing things the others missed?

Hanging back from the confident, outgoing crowd I had time to look around, time to ponder, to notice those other paths leading off the highway to exciting unknown destinations. Looking back I am thankful for my “cross”, without it I would have missed so much. As “the crowd” descended to office, shop or factory I found a door to wonders beyond my dreams. The answer was not to become a member of the bustling throng but to appreciate my unique value just as I am. May we all enjoy being just who we are!