I never really wrote about it in this blog, but a few months ago I joined Toastmasters. It’s essentially a public speaking class for grownups, that doesn’t require your fully developed ass to go to a college campus and deal with swarms of apathetic 18-year-olds recovering from last night’s keg stands. THANK GOD.
It was great at first, but I feel like I’m slowly developing a love/hate relationship with it.
It seems like I get worse every time I stand up to talk. I don’t know how much of this is in my head, but I doubt it’s entirely imagined. And, of course, I was afraid this would happen because it ALWAYS DOES.
You know that cutie you make occasional eye contact with, and one day they approach you for an actual conversation and you do something stupid like spill coffee on them, or fumble over your “hello” so badly that it sounds like some newly invented racial slur?
And then every time you interact with them after that, you’re super conscious of your shit, trying to “make up” for your previous embarrassment, only to make it A WHOLE BUNCH WORSE BECAUSE YOU’RE SO SELF-CONSCIOUS?!
Yeah. That. That’s me forever. I have never not done exactly that.
Even on occasions when I run into someone I knew back in the Super Obviously Homeschooled Days and think to myself, “Hot damn, I’m gonna blow them away with the extremely basic social skills I’ve slowly developed over the course of years,” you know what freaking happens instead?
I fall apart.
My shell of self-confidence melts away, because all I can imagine is how hard they must be waiting for me to screw up. And I am all up on self-fulfilling them prophecies. It’s apparently my favorite thing to do!
So, as per yooooozjh, embarrassing myself on stage once a week just makes me more and more nervous about doing it again, to the point where I kind of want to quit forever.
It’s just… Continuing to make eye contact with these people who watch me fail once a week? I am running out of evens to can, right now.
I think the most ridiculous part of the spiral is that when I fear a task, I procrastinate. If I were to sign up for a speaking role and maybe take a hot freaking minute to prepare, I’d probably do fine! But every single time I’ve thrown myself into the fray, I’ve put off all of my prep work until literally the hour before. (Actually, I think I wrote my first speech the evening before, but didn’t edit it until 20 minutes before giving it. Lol.)
The point of signing up for this was to face my fears, but I guess I didn’t expect them to get worse before they… theoretically… get better?
It’s all good, folks. I’ll either learn how to do this, or learn that I never should. Which may crush my dreams, but they’re pretty dumb dreams anyway. If I crush them now, maybe I can finally do the “adult” thing and sign up for business school and develop a career I have no passion for. Ya know. Like the other successful members of my generation. Maybe it’s time to give up on all this millennial, I’m-so-special bullshit, and move into the real world.
Aight, folks, I’m out like a trout. Hope my Dr. Crankenstein outlook doesn’t put a damper on your Monday!