“The wind blows, and things change forever.” [Anonymous]
Change is not inevitable. As I looked out at the crowd that day, halfway through my recitation of the Pearl Harbor speech by President Roosevelt, I felt like my insides were on fire. To use the common metaphor, I felt that the butterflies in my stomach were fed up of being inside me and were frantically smashing against the walls of my abdomen. I had frozen. I could barely hear, however, I could hear just enough to recognize Gavin Black struggle to give me the next line of the speech. I suppose he had such faith that I would do well that he felt he would not need to give me my line.
How wrong he was. Before that moment, no one knew how afraid I was of public speaking. But, now it was information that was privilege to all who sat in that crowd. As I look back on that day, I can laugh at myself. However, in the back of my mind, there will always be, burned there, the memory of being scared to death of the crowd. But, that day was only the beginning. The next few years I did the in class version of that speaking contest, and this year, I had the opportunity to do a senior reflection. Preparing for it brought back memories of that day that I froze. But this time I was determined to do better. When I stood in front of the school and delivered, I made no mistakes. Later that year, I gave another speech with some other people and that was a breeze. The minute I finished that third speech however, a realization hit me. Something that was once the most terrifying thing in the universe, was not a walk in the park. I realized that Fenn had changed me, that I would never be the same. I also realized that had I not done those three speeches, I would still be a bad public speaker.
Change is something that does not happen on it’s own. It cannot be left to chance. People must have a desire to change.