It was early in the morning, and I mean, early, in the morning, I usually wouldn’t just wake up on my own on a school day; usually I’d wake up at about 5:00 a.m. mumble something to myself that even I can never understand, and then go back to sleep until my mom or dad comes in and rips the blankets off my body, and turns my lamp on, so that I actually get out of bed sooner or later. I don’t know why and I don’t know how, but on that day three years ago, I actually woke up early, and didn’t mumble something under my breath.
It must have been some sort of instinct your brain has that sets an alarm inside your head that shouts “It’s an important day” over and over until you’re 100% awake. Anyway, it was ones of those days where the first thing you do is open your eyes, realize where you are, and think to yourself “I’m doing this today or whatever, Well, for third grade me, the first thought that came to my head was “The play is today” And that was all.
I then laid there in my bed not knowing whether to cram my head under my pillow and start screaming, or to jump up with joy (even thought that’d be kind of stupid because my whole family would wake up and wonder what was wrong with me.) Soon enough, my mom came in, I went downstairs, crammed some food into my mouth, brushed my teeth, put on my shoes, and jumped in the car listening to 107.3 “the best mix of everything”. Rolling up to the school, I got out of the car. Entering my classroom I found a bunch of wild kids in random costumes talking way louder than they needed to. At this point I was leaning more towards the nervous part, than the excited part, even though I didn’t have a pillow to scream under. Honestly, if anyone should be nervous, it should be me, because I was the only kid in my class, who was going to find herself standing on the stage, microphone in hand, singing an original song to the entire lower school.
I came in farther, to my cubby, and started unpacking my backpack, and that’s when I realized It was going to happen, and that there was no backing out now, no pillow to scream under, so the best thing I could do was try to keep my cool and go talk to people as if everything going on in my brain was completely normal. Sitting on the bleachers probably 15 or 20 minutes later the act before mine came on to the stage, that’s when I started thinking, “oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh”, then I stopped, and thought, you know what, let’s just do this thing. Moments later, I wasn’t on the bleachers staring up at the other kids I know, this time, It was me up there.
My friend and band-mate, Sam, started playing the music, the nervousness was drained out of me by now, and I was mainly focused on my actually making the song come out of my mouth on time. Of course, it did come out, I was singing, not like I’ve never done it before, but it was the first time in front of almost 300 people! I looked down at the audience, and found my 2nd grade teacher staring at me with a handkerchief, crying. After school, I was thinking about it, about all the applause afterwards, all my friends hi-fiving me and everybody saying “hey, good job!” Of course, I also remember my teacher crying, crying for me, it made me realize that doing what I love isn’t something to be embarrassed about. It’s something to be proud of, especially when you’re good at it (which I found out I had to be legit to make my teacher cry)
To this day, I still remember standing up there, front and center staring out the blank black slate directly in front of me. I remember the spot lights blinding me, but in a way I was thankful to them, because I couldn’t see the people watching me, and that took some of the tension off my shoulders. Ms. K however, was sitting to the side and in the front, and she was about the only person I could actually see. I’m glad I could see her because she gave me a long lasting memory that really has a moral. She taught me that you shouldn’t be embarrassed about things that people are congratulating you about, to take pride in what you do. When I think hard about it, I can still see her staring back at me below the bright white and yellow lights.