Breaking Free

December 16, 2010
By
I shot out of bed so fast that if you had blinked you would’ve missed it. Today was finally the day I’d been waiting for. I sprinted downstairs, hopped in the car, and took off for the cruise. Driving in the car I had a feeling that this trip was going to be remarkable. It was my dream trip, the one that I had been fantasizing about for years. In a few hours the trip started exactly the way that I had dreamt it. Except when it was over after 4 days it had a whole new ending.

When I was 9 years old my grandparents took my family and me on a cruise in the Caribbean. It was a beautiful ship with grand casinos and an outdoor elevator. To me it was like something out of a movie paradise. I had a good feeling about the trip from the time I stepped onto the boat and it turns out that I was right.

After dinner on the first night on the cruise my dad, sister and I went to a comedy show. We were there early so we grabbed the front seats and ordered pina cooladas. I looked around the auditorium, it didn’t seem that large but I saw about 100 people in the audience. That was when I knew that it was going to be a good show.

The show started and the man was extremely funny, making the whole audience laugh. Then he finished a sketch and started walking off of the stage towards the audience. He turned in front of the first row and started walking towards me. My mind was racing as I thought to myself, “Is he really walking towards me or am I just imaging that.” My heart seemed like it was going to beat out of my chest as I wondered why he would want me up on stage. I wasn’t funny, I was just smart.

Then, all of a sudden he stopped and said, “Hey, you, why don’t you come up on stage.” I slowly lifted and realized that he was talking to me.

I was completely star-struck. Gradually, I stood up as the nerves soaring through my body equalized the excitement of going on stage. As I walked onto the stage the lights were almost blinding and I looked out into the audience it seemed as though it had multiplied by 100. I was beginning to wonder why I was so elated to be on stage. It was just scary. Then, the comedian told me to take a seat. I was becoming a little less nervous but I was still slightly shocked and frightened from performing in front of so many people.

Out of the blue he then asked me, “Think of an animal, but don’t tell me, and I’ll try to guess what it is.” This seemed simple enough to me so I thought of my idea of a common animal. After about a minute he guessed that I was thinking of a poodle.

Now I was not a normal boy when I was 9, I was about as smart as a 6th or 7th grader, so when I heard him say poodle I laughed a bit. I thought, “Why would anyone think of a boring animal like a poodle?” Since I was so far ahead of my age, the animal that I thought of was an orangutan, because it seemed like a normal animal to me.

The moment that I said orangutan the crowd burst out laughing. I couldn’t tell if they were laughing at me or with me. Then, I put myself in their shoes and realized they were laughing with me. To them I was a little boy saying an obsolete animal that not even grown ups said.
The next few moments were amazing. An incredible feeling washed over me as I looked out over the crowd that I had just conquered. That was when I realized that I had just used my smarts to make 100 people laugh. I felt amazing. It was like I was on top of the world and no one could bring me done. Ever.

Now looking back on that experience I realized that that was when my life had been changed for good. I was now free from the spell of only being smart. For once it felt great to be normal.





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