Tag Archives: laughter

She Now Knew She was Mighty

As I sat there in the front row, literally one step away from the stage, my fingers fidgeted with the folded up piece of copy paper. I looked over at my friend as she twirled her pen with one hand and a lock of hair with the other. We were preparing to perform the very vulnerable task of sharing our original poems with an audience of mostly complete strangers. I had spent all day fretting over this moment that was about to happen, even while I was at work at the local hospital.

A coworker asked me how I was feeling, and I replied, “Freaked out, terrified!” I explained that I was about to conquer one of my greatest childhood fears, reading in front of an audience. You see, growing up I was a very slow reader and often I would be chosen to read in front of the class, a task that was not only daunting, but mortifying. I wasn’t dyslexic. I didn’t have any learning disabilities that I knew of. I just wasn’t a very skilled reader. I was such a slow reader I would have to lug home all my text books in order to get any of the class work done. That meant, not only was I doing homework, but the work that was intended to be done in class as well.

Back at the coffee shop 25 years later my knuckles are turning white from making tight, nervous fists. I get up to use the bathroom again, thanks to my nervous bladder. I see my tiny folded up poem almost slip from my pocket into the toilet but catch it just as it’s about to make it’s final dive to the great unknown. It occurs to me at that moment, ‘I’m going to open with this, and once I laugh I think I’ll be okay.’ People always tell me I have an infectious laugh, so I thought I’d just lighten the mood.

Finally the emcee announces that it is my turn. I take that one tiny step to the stage, grab the music stand, which will mainly act as a stabilizing device as my knees shake beneath me. In the other hand I grab the mic. This is my moment to prove my bullies wrong. “Hi, my name is Chelsea, and I’m going to share a poem I wrote, which I almost just dropped in that toilet right back there!” Laughter filled the room. A small bit of relief came over me. I started, and I could tell I sounded just like my elementary school self stumbling over each word, but by the fourth line something extraordinary happened. I looked up to see that the crowd was rooting me on with their encouraging smiles. Wow! It was no longer children laughing and pointing, but people of all ages and races smiling, giving me a thumbs up, and gasping as I read the last line, “she now knew she was mighty.” I did. I knew I was mighty. I was mighty enough to conquer my fear, and not only that, do it better next time, show fear who is boss.

I’ve heard it said that everyday you should do something that scares you. This was one of those things, and it felt so good to laugh about it afterward with complete strangers outside my favorite coffee shop last Thursday night.

I hope my story inspires you to conquer your fear, whatever it might be. Share it with me by clicking on “reply” at the top of this post, and share this post with others in your life that have a fear to conquer. You definitely know someone.

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God and Gal Pals

Have you ever stepped into an elevator with a bunch of other people and you catch a whiff of someone’s shampoo or cologne and you are instantly reminded of a specific person from your past? How about a meal that gives you the feeling of being home? Well, every time I smell cardboard or go to Target or eat a Red Vine I am immediately reminded of my friend.

My 30th birthday with Shannon

My 30th birthday with Shannon

Recently I have been really missing my dear friend Shannon. You see, boyfriends don’t like shopping for the perfect red top for the perfect right price, and they certainly don’t like sipping on lattes looking through bridal magazines in Barnes & Noble. God knows I love him, but he doesn’t share my cravings for red vines and a rich red velvet cupcake. Some things just have to be done with a close girlfriend; the kind that you are so honest with you argue one day and hug the next. I miss those days of calling her up to hang out at her house or do our weekly Target run when we just wander the store commenting on what’s new in the store and in life. And while God does not necessarily share my obsession with the perfect statement shoes or diet root beer, he does know the desires of my heart, and I can go to him even in my tears of loneliness and he will lend a listening ear.

It’s not easy to move forward when we miss something or someone, but he knows that. And unlike my dear friend Shannon he never sleeps and he never slumbers, so I can call on him night or day and he will comfort me.

By the way, I wish Shannon all the best. We talk all the time, and I plan to visit her in a couple of months. I hear they have some kind of super Target in Phoenix.