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Sunday, February 8, 2009

My First Speech

I recently became a member of a junior toastmaster (ages 13-18)... The first meeting was the Friday before last. We mostly just talked about what we'd be doing the rest of the time.

Anyways, we were told to write up an "Icebreaker"... a speech to tell people about yourself. When I got home I wrote it in 14 minutes, then spent the rest of the week trying to memorize it. I worked really hard and performed it for my family a couple times.

Here's how it went (with a bit of editing so I could post it):

I've always thought life was wonderful. And I hated it when people didn't. I hated it when people thought life was terrible, and were sad because of it. So I tried to make them happy, I tried to make them enjoy life, and seeing these people enjoying life means that life is wonderful... In other words, I love to see people smile.

Even better is making people smile... To know that I, if even only for a shadow of a moment, made that person happy, can make me beam.

So my whole life I've tried to make people smile... First I did ballet. Who doesn't love the graceful movements of a dancer? And when I performed, I knew there were people, there in the audience, watching me, and I knew they were smiling... and I smiled my grandest just to make sure. Smiles, I've found, are contagious.

Then I turned to acting. I've always loved acting, especially in musicals, because I can dance, and sing, and act all in one, and make people laugh, cry, and most importantly, smile.

I was in a play every summer--and more--for three years. I went to ballet four days a week and ran wild with my friends, my little sister and my new little brothers. Times were good... happy, smiley--more than a little busy, but oh so happy...

Well, all good things must come to an end! And it was the one summer I chose not to do a play--so I could spend more time with family--that I caught rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis is always something I've associated with 230-year-olds (they laughed at that point), not dancing 13-year-olds... but now I have to associate it with myself.

I have a hard time moving now, and even worse I can't dance. I can't even jump, let alone stand on my toes like I used to... but I have to keep smiling. I have to keep making others smile.

I can't stress enough how much my family means to me... I don't know how I could... how I can get through this if I didn't have my mom, my dad, my sister and my little brothers... and it was these people, the people I care about most, who helped me find other ways to make people smile.

I write now. I write stories that will one day sail out into the world like little ships. The book I'm currently working on is called Kings of Darkness: The Riening Night and hopefully one day people will read it, and laugh, and cry... and smile.

I also play Piano. I've always needed music--that was one of the reasons I loved to dance... I used to be one with it, but now, I create it. I hope to be a master pianist, and make others smile that way.

Dear Sister and I also do duets together for my family... it always brings a smile to their face, and sometimes even to others too.

So through ballet to acting to writing to singing to piano, I've tried my best to make others smile, because seeing people happy can make me beam.

My name is Galaxy, and my life is strange and wonderful. I hope this speech has made you smile. Thank you.

I got a little nervous on the day I actually had to do it. I didn't think it'd be that bad, though, because I've performed in bunches of plays and loved it, so I thought this would be easy.


When it was finally my turn (I was last, by the way), and I got up there, I couldn't speak. I saw them all staring at me, and I didn't know what to do. The guy that held the timer nodded at me to show that he was ready, so I just smiled as big as I possibly could, and tried to make eye contact with every single person in the room to buy time. Finally, I started.
Normally, when I perform on stage, I'm a little nervous before I go on, but the moment I get on stage it all melts away. It was different with this. The more I talked, the more nervous I got. By the time I sat down in my chair (after a loud applause, thankfully) my heart felt like it was pounding out of my chest and I could hardly breathe.

I've done a lot of thinking about that, and I think I've pinpointed why that was so much harder than acting for me... When I act, it's not me. It's the character saying those things. I might be nervous at first, but when I get on stage it isn't me anymore, it's my character, and she does it all, so if I mess up, no one knows, and if people judge my character harshly, it's not me they're judging.
If I'm giving a speech, it's actually me they're watching. It's me they're judging, and by the end of the speech they'll have formed an opinion of me. If I mess up, something I say might come out wrong, and how they see me might change.

I still had fun, though. Even though it was different than acting or dancing it was nice to spill out my life to people, to give them a piece of me... It was also nice to perform for someone... it's been too long.

Anyways, that was my first speech! Thank you for reading, and I hope you're smiling!



persimmon said...

smiling, smiling, smiling

Cathy said...

Definitely made me smile. I found your blog from a Google Alert about RA and laughed just reading, "I caught rheumatoid arthritis." I "caught" RA five years ago or at least was diagnosed with it then....I am sure I was working towards it for years before that.

I am a homeschooling mom to a 10 year old daughter who also loves to write and a 12 year old son.

So nice to read your post. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face.


Froggy said...

What's a junior toastmaster? Did you enjoy writing the speech? Sorry you got nervous!

Lydia said...

Your speech was great. This was only your first. The more you do it, the less nervous you will become. Keep it up!

Galaxy said...

Persimmon--*beaming, beaming, beaming*

Cathy--I hope you're feeling well! RA can be pretty bad... I'm so glad you enjoyed my speech... thank you for reading!

Froggy--A toastmaster is a group where people get together and practice giving speeches. Yes, I enjoyed writing it quite a bit.

Lydia--*gulp* I'm sure it will! Thanks!

Thank you everyone for you comments... They made me smile!!!

Froggy said...

I thought so...I've heard of those groups, but I didn't know they were called that!

citty cat steff said...

the same thing happens to me when I'm singing on stage and I'm bye myself maybe when you did plays you were port of a groop a speech your bye yourself so ya

citty cat steff

Anonymous said...

Hi Dear,
I so loved your speech. I remember when I was in speech class and had to do a speech about myself. Boy was I nervous. But all in all it was fun. I have done public speaking many times since and it does get easier. It is a great tool for you. Loved your picture and the newest family picture.
Can you believe that your dad will be 39 yrs. old on the 18th? That makes me his mom a wee bit older doesn't it? I love you sweetheart. Keep up the wonderful writing. Grandpa and I are praying for you as always.
Love Grandma Janie

Galaxy said...

I'm glad you liked it! I had fun too, yet at the same time was thanking GOD when I sat down (hehe)!
Daddy's never changed in my eyes, but now I realize that he's getting older... It's so strange. I can't imagine what it must be like for you to watch your baby get older and older!
You can be sure I will! Give my love to Grandpa Ken!