My voice quivered as the words started to jump around on the page. It didn’t help that I couldn’t keep the paper still. My eyes lost focus, blurring out the audience, which was a new slant on trying to picture them naked! As the sun beamed into the classroom and the sweat rolled down my cheeks, I let out a wheeze mid sentence and started to fall.
That was my first proper public speaking outing.
In front of my class.
Whilst reading my book report.
To a class of teenagers!
They were like a pack of hyenas, waiting for their next pray…………..to fall. Well in my case faint!
For the remainder of the school year I was a focus points of jokes. With kids coming up to me, starting a sentence only to stop midway – trailing their words and pretending to fall to the floor!
That episode clung to me for more than half my life, until one day I took ownership of it. Putting myself in front of an audience again to tell that story at a ‘fear of public speaking’ class. Over-exaggerating the wheeze, the fall – making people laugh as I laughed along with it! It couldn’t hold me back anymore – I had the power!
My name is Emma Halliday and I hail from a proper belting city in England. The heart of England if you will. A place called Leeds, in Yorkshire. Although I am very protective over the place I will always call home, I now live in London. Which I absolutely love!
I would like to call myself a writer, as ever since I can remember I have loved writing, telling stories through my words, alleviating heartache through poetry and sharing my secrets with my diary, which for some reason I named Percy. A name which would then be reused to call my most precious sentimental item I possess – a teddy bear!
Alas, I have no grounds to call myself a writer, not just yet. With a few festival and travelling reviews under my belt, more than a few lengthy Facebook statuses, a handful of poems and my most recent blog – my year of vulnerability – I don’t feel justified to greet myself with that title.
My Year of Vulnerability is the main focus in my life right now and it’s a long time coming. I’ve not been good with being vulnerable, seeing it as a weakness and the more times I was made to feel embarrassed, rejected or stupid (see above story) – inside a part of me retreated………….and to put it dramatically – died!
After I owned that story, embarrasing times would come – as they do! My initial reaction was to run and hide, but this was quickly replaced with laughter and proudly claiming it as mine!
So when I was a couple of days into a new job with people who I didn’t really gel with, I wanted to make an impression. I asked for additional training which was well received. “Score – you see Emma, you do belong here!”
Sat in the middle of my 2 colleagues, sipping on a herbal tea as they spoke, determined to take all this extra information in, I suddenly felt wet! I looked down and my blue skirt, was wet. How could that be?
I swung my head right, seeing splashes go towards colleague number one. I turned my head left and liquid flew towards colleague number two. That is when I saw it, the string from the herbal tea bag had managed to miraculously wrap around my lip piercing and I was like a St Bernard -shaking my head from side to side with the water following my movements.
Not a word was said from my colleagues as I fiddled and faffed trying to release the teabag. Plop!! It fell back into the cup and we continued on our session.
I had to go to a meeting straight after and as soon as I got into the lift I burst out into uncontrollable laughter. My eyes almost as wet as my skirt. The lift stopped on the next floor and I woman walked in, I continued to laugh until we reached the ground floor. It was hilarious!
I owned that event – as embarrasing as it was! I had officially tea bagged myself at work!
I now don’t struggle as much with situations that ‘happen’ to me – I proudly own it! My year of vulnerability is about putting myself out there and handling situations that I put on myself and blogging about it as I go along. So watch this space!
Please join us in our Guest of Jest series.
Here are the rules:
- Give us some info about your blog. Make sure to add a link to it.
- Write up something amusing. It doesn’t have to be “laugh out loud” funny, but a bit of humor would be great.
- Pictures optional, but encouraged.
- The post can be one that has been posted before.
The piece can be anything that is humorous. A story, a recollection, even something as simple as a joke.
Send your submission to Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll pop you right in the schedule.
C’mon, you know you want to!
The featured image was created by Silas at My weird, crazy and mundane life Journal