Day Fifty One: Standing Up In Front of a Crowd

Keep me away from one of these.

I was reminded today of what a train wreck I become whenever I get near a lectern. 
In my normal life, I am reluctant to stand up in front of a crowd and open my mouth. It's the burn of the spotlight that gets me, even if that spotlight is an imaginary one. If I even suspect more than a few pairs of eyes on me, my heart begins to beat out of my chest and I sweat uncontrollably. Thankfully, I've only been asked a few times in my life to give a speech, and they have been short and (mostly) sweet.

The last time I spoke in public was at my Mom's funeral. Yes, that's right: ol' sweaty here gave the eulogy. I have no idea if anyone who attended the funeral actually listened to me for more than 30 seconds because I was rambling and at times incoherent. Crying for 7 straight days will make anyone look and sound like a crack addict, and despite spending just as many days writing and editing my euology I was no exception. My brother-in-law watched me closely the entire time, just in case he needed to pull me off the lectern. But I finished before the sobs in my throat completely cut off my air supply and I ran away like an injured, whimpering dog.

So why did I do it? Good question. I don't really know what came over me other than my overwhelming need to do something really stupid. One can argue that it was far less dangerous than, let's say, jumping off a bridge or going on a bender.

Grief will make a person do what does not come natural, and I chose to speak in front of a fairly large crowd. I don't know if I channeled my grief for good or evil; I guess time will tell, as will the rest of my family when the facade of graciousness fades from this whole experience.