My husband made a very interesting observation about me yesterday. I’ve been performing poetry, plays, speeches, dance routines and band performances from the age of 6yrs old but spoken word cripples me. I was discussing my chronic fear of spoken word with my husband and his response gave me a major “lightbulb moment”! My husband’s observation was, “whenever you performed Easter poems, it was what someone else wrote. When you performed plays, they were based on someone else’s life. Band performances were fun, but they weren’t personal. Spoken word isn’t your issue, it’s what you’re speaking about. Your real issue lies in being transparent in front of people.”
My husband was absolutely correct. Two weeks prior to his revelation, I was led by the Holy Spirit to give a praise report testimony at a church event. I nearly chickened out because of my anxiety but I pushed through it. As I was giving my praise report, I was visibly anxious, I was fiddling with my hands and my voice was shakey and cracking. I exhibited all the signs of stage freight. I was raised that you keep personal business to yourself, no matter what, so giving that testimony exposed more of myself than I was comfortable with. After I pondered over what my husband said and the anxiety I experienced, I began to wonder if it’s possible to share your life without oversharing?
My husband and I dated for 6yrs before we tied the knot but I knew very early on that he was someone I could trust with my emotions, he felt like a family friend. This evidence suggests that I share with those I consider family, those whom I consider to be loyal. Somehow, I need to figure out how to separate my emotions from my abilities as an artist and performer, it won’t be easy. I told myself that I would start off slow, I would commit myself to finding monthly poetry events and reading at least one of my poems before the night ends. I would commit to this for 3 months and then move to reading two poems. If the first 6 months went well I would commit to memorizing one poem a month and performing it/them through the remainder of the year. In a random twist of fate, the very next day, I was invited to a spoken word poetry event by one of my church members. She was unaware of what I had been wrestling with for the last two weeks so when I became overwhelmed with excitement, it surprised her. It seems that as soon as I set goals for myself, God opened up the opportunity for me to achieve them. This will be my next great adventure!