The past two years have been… eventful. Though not on paper, not at all on paper.
But I’ve done things I never thought I’d do, one of which is performing on stage, alone, without being coerced into it by teachers preparing for the school’s annual day.
Sounds simple enough. So, I went on stage, said my piece and that’s the end of that, no big deal. Except things aren’t so simple because everything means something with me.
The last two years have been absolutely insane. A whole lot of personal growth, changing perspectives, the usual bullshit that comes with being a 17/8 year old who’s being punched in the face by reality for the first time. The good old confusion, occasional existential crisis, a tad bit of despair for no reason whatsoever, with some beautiful magic thrown in, for which I’m more than grateful.
Skipto the past, let’s say, three months. Possibly the most tumultuous of the lot. Life was good, me, not so much. (I still haven’t figured out why)
And just when i was beginning to think that I’d have to get accustomed to being numb and make my peace with feeling… nothing, I signed up to perform, because why not?
I didn’t think one silly slam event would make such difference but then again what do i know, I’m a doof.
At first I was apathetic, as usual, but then the posters came in and seeing my name written there felt real because holy shit this is me that’s my name I never have my name printed for events I don’t do this shit I don’t just sign up for things like that!!
Then came the “WHAT DO I PERFORM I wanna do this one piece but it’s eh and that one isn’t very slam-y and i love this one but what if I don’t do it justice??”
I ultimately decided on ‘Indifference’ and that’s when the nervousness and excitement kicked in.
The first practice session started off with me reading the piece in my head, which gradually progressed to whispers and mumbles and by the seventh try i was just about audible a foot away because you feel like a weird idiot reading poetry aloud to yourself, who even does that.
Once my great inner monologue decided to shut up and take a seat I loosened up a little to the idea of practising. But then I got worried because I’ve never met anyone worse with their pronunciations/enunciations than me.
You know how, when you write something you write it with a certain voice in your head? I was terrified of not doing justice to that voice because i could never forgive myself if I fucked up and let the voice down.
But I have amazing friends who live across the country but send warmth and love through phone screens and tell me they believe in me, and the OSS team mother who’s the most aggressively nice person I’ve met, threatening and bullying me with encouragement until i was confident that I wouldn’t be a huge disgrace to the Voice.
I didn’t think I’d feel this excited for a long time, I’d given up all hopes of ever being hyper enough to squeak, squeal and yelp about anything but fucking hell did I squeak, squeal and yelp.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything as pure and passionate as I did while standing in front of the damn mirror and performing with all I’ve got because eyy I was performing for myself, i might even cherish that more than my actual performance itself (not really)
I felt alive, i was finally breathing and living and feeling and I probably sound like I’m straight out of a shitty drama but FEELING FEELS BEAUTIFUL.
I probably bursted with not just excitement but also love because I’m an introverted, self proclaimed loner who has somehow managed to make friends who stay up late talking me out of my anxiousness and cheering me on from across the city/country/world and they were all as excited as i was which is insane because how did this happen how have i found losers who give more than three shits about me why am I being allowed to whine and rant when you could be doing something better with your time instead of wasting it trying to make sense out of my nonsense???
I don’t think I’ve ever had a “group” and i probably never will but i do have a bunch of idiots who are all mine.
The night before the big day I stayed up late because i was on an adrenaline rush and behaving borderline tipsy and I was surprised when it made people happy because helloooo it’s supposed to be annoying I should calm down and keep it together why are you encouraging this madness how are you okay with this outburst???
My best friend attended it, because he sensed this meant a lot to me which is insane because he hates anything of the sort, but he showed up and let me hug him, and I didn’t know human bonds could actually mean something and I’d forgotten that people aren’t all selfish, indifferent assholes and self-sufficiency/survival isn’t all there is to life and it is actually possible to have people do things they downright abhor for the sake of someone else.
I think it’s kinda absurd to think that I trip over my own words when i have more than three listeners and it is humanly impossible for me to not rush through things, because how dare I take up anyone’s time, I need to wrap up as soon as I can because i have no right to be such a huge inconvenience but you know what fuck it. Fuck this shit.
I went up on stage and had a room full of probably over a hundred people sitting there, looking at me, listening to what I was saying, not hoping for a catastrophe that would make me rush on and get over with it because they were paying attention to me and they did give (arguably) three fucks about what i had to say and i was going to say it because this was my moment, all mine. This is my stage and that mic is right there for me and those people down there are going to stay where they are as long as I am talking because i can do this shit.
I’ve never felt taller, bolder and fiercer than during those 2 minutes and I’m surprised I didn’t actually yell into the mic and turn everyone deaf.
I didn’t think I could ever say one word, let alone perform an entire poem, on stage. But I did it. I fucking well did it and if i could tell that little shit that keeps chewing away at my head and telling me I should shut up to suck it, once, I can darn well do it again. And i will. And if i could be as numb as I’ve ever been before, and still manage to find magic inside me, once, I will do it again.
Nothing will ever match up to everything that happened before, during and after this slam.
I’ve never received warmer hugs, more welcoming smiles and more genuine support and friendship, which I think is a culmination of all the fucking fairly lights and rainbows and glitter and ‘happiness’ what have yous.
You know when you’re sitting somewhere and there’s nothing extraordinary going on but the ~vibes~ and just everything about it in general envelopes you in this weird, swirly, warm, happy, fuzzy feeling because of the general aura of a floating bubble? That. That is precisely what was happening. We were floating in a bubble of raw realness(?) and togetherness and I’ve never felt more “young, wild and free” than I did there.
Nothing feels better than watching amazing people who probably feel as much as you do making you feel so much all at once and then getting a chance to add to it with your own…creation?
For once, I’m proud of myself.