As I walked up the steps to the chapel, I noticed the change in the air. It was cold and felt like the middle of winter, rather than the beginning of May. I found a seat in one of the piers, and sat down next to my mom. I was cold, but I was also sweating and shaking with nerves. “We will began in a few moments.” I looked down at the sheet to see when I will perform. Third, once I saw my name listed as third my heart raced. This can’t be right, can it?
There were only two people in front of me. I wanted to at least go in the middle or last. I felt so unprepared, I was confident I was going to mess up the words. Not only was I worried that I was going to mess up the words, but my mom was here to see me. I was not nervous singing in front of people I didn’t know but this was the first time my mom came to one of my recitals this year. I was determined to do well, but I was also scared of messing up.
As the first person went up to perform their piece, I started running the words over and over again in my mind. I felt as if my stomach was full with butterflies, and with each performance coming to an end, the butterflies increased.I tried to focus on the details of the tile behind the piano, that didn’t help. Trying to locate my focus elsewhere, my legs were shaking badly. My mom leaned over and whispered “ Just focus on something else”. I was focusing on the girl who was performing, and noticed she too was a little nervous. It made me feel better to see that I was not the only one nervous.
Next thing I know my legs are carrying me out of my seat, down the aisle, and up on the alter. I took a deep breath, and smiled. I introduced myself, and gave the name of the piece I was performing. The piano started and I waited for my cue to come in. I felt as if I have been waiting forever. I started to panic, thinking I missed my entrance. My mouth felt very dry, and I longed for a drink of water. As I looked out at the audience, I saw other performers giving encouraging smiles, and my mom excitedly waited for me to start. My voice started to sing out, without me really noticing. I felt as if my mind was split in two. One mind was doing the singing, and the other was off in la la land. I cracked on the first note, but I regained focus and pushed forward. I calmed myself down, and focused above the audience’s head. It was better then looking straight at them , but as I went through my song I started to gain some confidence.
I felt as if I was up on that alter forever, instead of three minutes. I was still a little worried that I would not remember the words. I was also worried that I wasn’t performing my best. As my song was coming to an end, and I felt myself trying to rush through the last few measures, so I focused on the balcony in the back of the church. It was full with many instruments like, pianos, a drum set, and a harp. I pretended that my audience was sitting in the balcony rather than a few feet in front of me. It was easier that way.
When I rehearsed my song, with my teacher numerous times, it felt very short, but as I was standing up in front of about twenty something people, it did not feel short. My song lagged on and on, and on. I felt vulnerable and wished to be back in my seat. I was ready to get this thing over with.
Finally as I sung out my ending note, I felt a wave of relief wash over me. Then applause came from the audience and my friends smiled and told me what a good job I did. I then quickly returned to my seat, as the next performer made their way to the alter. As I sat down I wished I wasn’t so nervous because it would have made things easier on my part. My mom squealed and said what an amazing job I did. Her smile was from ear to ear. She proceeded to show me the video she got of me, and told me how she loved it. Another wave of relief washed over me. I let out sigh, and found that my nervous legs had stopped shaking. As I sat back into my chair, I realized I had nothing to be embarrassed or nervous about. I made it seem like a much bigger deal then it actual was. If only I had stayed calm, then I would have performed my best and I would not have been worrying about my performance. Although this was a bit of an embarrassing moment on my part, I shouldn’t be to worried about it. This experience has taught me to not overthink and not to underestimate my skills.