As the students’ sneakers scuff against the gymnasium floor, my heart thumps as a candidate on my right hums annoyingly to herself. Senate election speeches. Clusters of friends embrace with hugs and waves. At this moment, I wish for my friends to spoon feed me words of encouragement. I can do this. I am ready. The current president rocks back and forth on the soles of his shoes, behind the podium, as he waits for students to find seats. Sweat droplets stream from my forehead as I swipe them away quickly with my wrist. The president speaks, saying “Good morning”. Introductions begin and my turn arrives. I rise from my seat, fingers and knee caps shaking. The paper finds its position on the podium and I raise my head, scanning the crowd. A breath inhales in my lungs and words escape from my mouth. “Good morning classmates,” I say to their day dreaming eyes. I keep myself entertaining and smile mid-sentences. Time seems to slow, yet the fear keeps me driven. I hear the applause of my classmates, knowing I have succeeded. Days pass and the website reveals the familiar words: “Polls still being counted.” But then, the positions are released to the student body. That day, I slam the backdoor of my house open without regrets and turn the corner up the stairs with my car keys in my mouth. I frantically boot the oh so slow laptop on my desk and type the address of the website. I scroll down to secretary and see “Kailey Recknagel.” I sit and wait for the tears to come streaming down my face, but instead, laughter comes over me. Loss isn’t what it’s made out to be. Though people may look at themselves as failures, the list of options is longer than they might think. Having an intense competition is better than being afraid to enter the contest. Being graceful in defeat is better than never learning to be gracious. I found that I was glad for my friend and not unhappy with myself.
November 30, 2009