Thursday, January 6, 2011

Epiphany No. 2: Don't be stupid

Being the centre of attention wigs me out.

You find this hard to believe, I know.
But it's true.

In a lot of cases, I'm happier being a wallflower.

It's not like I'm a stranger to it. I was a pretty reserved teenager ... at least I think so. If the brothers read this, they might have a different story.

I can remember standing at the edge of the crowd at high school dances, wondering what it would be like to be in the middle of the dance floor, whooping it up with everyone.

Sometimes I had the guts to go out there, even to ask that tall guy with the fantastic mullet to dance with me.

Even years later, fresh into my first job as a reporter, my stomach would do flip-flops before every phone interview I had to do.

Like a goalie before the big game, I'd head to the washroom, throw up, take a deep breath and then get the job done.

And every time I'd move to a new stop on the newspaper trail, I'd get back to that little place of nervous anxiety ... not to the extreme I initially had, but still my hands would shake as I reached for the phone receiver.

I suppose it comes from a fear of failure.

Failure, in fact, was not an option in our house.

Bring home an 85 and Dad would inquire 'where did the other 15 points go?'

Grounded for marks that some kids would have been happy to bring home.

It made us tough, driven to succeed, never satisfied.

But it's kept in me a need to stay reserved at times when I know I'm not very good at something.

Stand in a batter's box and swing for the fence? No problem.

Take the mic and thank 1,200 people for coming to our fundraiser? Easy peasy.

Head to the front of the bar and pound out a rendition of Ice Ice Baby? Pshaw.

Try to imitate dance moves in front of a room full of people who barely know me?

No. Thank. You.

I'll cower in the corner of the couch, make up lame excuses and duck my way out of it.

Wrap my mind around the intricacies of playing a hand of poker?

Oh hell to the no.

I'll be over there playing Solitaire.

It's not like this has stopped me from trying anything new but anything 'new' is always closely within the realm of things I've already done ... and done well.

Maybe it's time to loosen up some.

And not be afraid to look a little bit stupid on occasion.

But don't be surprised if I throw up on your shoes first.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this..but may I add:
    Rumor has it, that even the best of the best of professionals throw up before a challenge---Looks like you're already there....congratulations dollface!