Anthony - Napoleon, Ohio
Entered on February 16, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: fear
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I was about fifteen years old when I learned one of my first life lessons. So far, it has been the one rule that I have lived by the most in my life.

It started the night before the very first performance with my band. I was really nervous to play in front of a lot of people. I didn’t know what I was going to do to help calm myself down. When I went to bed for the night, it seemed like time was going slower and slower. It was just watching me as I worried about the day I had ahead of me. It was not the night that I needed to help me perform well the next day.

The next day, I remember talking to some of my band mates. They said that for the most part, they were scared to go up in front of all the people too. Well, at least it wasn’t just me, I thought. At least I’ll have my friends up there feeling what I’m feeling. Maybe it would help. In any case, I was still in a state of fear.

The time had finally come to go up and perform. As I started for the stage, I took a glance at the crowd of people that had gathered. To me, it looked like there were millions. I was more scared then I had been in a long time. I think my brother could tell too. He came up to me and gave me advice that really helped me get through the jitters. First, he told me to picture everyone naked, which I didn’t think would really help, even though I knew he was just trying to make me laugh. Then, he reminded me to just play what I know and to recognize that all of those practices wouldn’t let me down. So I thought, “Fine, what ever happens, happens.”

So, I went up and started to play with the band. I was really shaky at first. All I could think of was, “What if I mess up? Everyone will think that I’m a bad player.” Then I thought about what my brother had said to me. So, I just played what I knew. As the show went on, I got more and more comfortable as each song passed by. I guess all those hours of practice had finally paid off. It was then that I had learned my first life lesson. That is, “It’s ok to be scared, we just can’t let that fear control what we do in life.” I use this quote as my slogan of life. That way, I live life to the fullest and without fear. That’s the way I think we all should be living.