Thursday, February 24, 2011

Who's Nervous

Okay, so I made it through the Black History Month program.  My whole day up until I walked into the gymnasium was a blur.  Time sure slips away from you when you're working on several things at one time.  I decided to wear something that I already had.  In hindsight, I could have done that from the beginning and saved the time I spent trying to purchase something new to wear for something else, like school perhaps?  So I'm trying to get the hairdo together and literally was still working on it while putting on my sweater and grabbing my purse to head out.  The coordinator for the program had told me that me getting there between six and six-fifteen was ideal.  When I hopped into the truck the clock was reading 6:13 p.m.  As I've said in another post, I can get from point A to point Z in seconds if I have to.  By the time we pulled up to the school, there wasn't much room left to park, but lucky for me and my fiance' there was one space left, immediately after turning into the school's driveway.  I wasn't sure if it was an acceptable place to park, but since I was running a wee bit behind, I decided to take the chance.

I jumped out the truck and besides the chilly wind chilling me to the bones, looking at all the cars on the parking lot of the school and the parking lot of the elementary school next to the middle school, I shivered, uncontrollably.  "Baby, what have I gotten myself into?" I asked my fiance' while half running to the entrance.  There was a sign-in table when we first walked in and I saw the coordinator and the look on her face let me know that I looked fabulous.  I felt so thrown together, but apparently I had pulled it off.  She ushered me and my fiance' towards the gymnasium and when I walked in, all the seats on the floor were filled and the side bleachers had minimal seating left.  I kept whispering, "What have I gotten myself into?"  She walked us across the floor and there were two seats left, marked reserved.  Wow, we were sitting in reserved seats.  We sat down and I took a  peek at the program.  I noticed that right after the Black National Anthem, I was to speak.  Well at least I was up first and could get my speaking engagement out the way and enjoy the rest of the evening. 

When they called my name, I stood up, walked up to the stage's steps and silently prayed that I wouldn't trip up them.  "Jesus, help me," I said under my breath, walking up each of the three steps.  I walked up to the podium, thank God for the podium, and grabbed the microphone.  I said good evening to the crowd and they said good evening back.  I proceeded to do as Fourteen Year Old had instructed me not to do and that was introduce myself and let everybody know that I was his mother.  He should have been there, but I was nervous enough without having to worry about saying the right thing in front of him, so I didn't insist on him or his brother coming.  It wasn't like either one of them were interested in the least.

I nervously read one poem out of my book, My Naked Mind: An Intimate Collection of Poetry, and the one that I had barely finished about two hours before the program.  I must have done great because the crowd clapped for me.  While walking back down the steps and passing the girl's basketball team, I heard one young girl say, "I liked your poems."  I thanked her and sank back into my seat, shaking like a leaf.  My fiance' said, "You did great, babe."  The older lady sitting next to him, reached for my book and asked how she could get one.  I pulled out my order form paper that I had brought along and she put her information on it.  I had sold the last of my book supply around December of last year and didn't have any on hand.  I could have sold as many as I had brought, if I had brought some, but I wasn't too worried about book sales as much as I was worried about getting through my speaking engagement. 

Since I had made it through my portion of the evening, I was able to enjoy and appreciate the rest of the evening.  There were young girls reciting the works of others, a projected presentation that brought tears to my eyes because my two poems were in sync with what was being said, the band performed twice and there was also a dance presentation.  I truly felt honored to be a part of the celebration of Black Women in history.  Being included as a guest speaker was a part of the history that I was making; a truly monumental moment.  Until next time..."Live your life by loving yourself."