Copied and pasted from my external blog.
Today we reallygot back into the swing of things at uni. We were given a writing excersize in a certain teacher’s class; a teacher who, last year, would always ask us to read our ‘efforts’ to one another in our groups, before picking the best and reading it to the entire class for feedback. Last year I found this nerve-racking enough, even after I got used to it. This year, after having gone months and months happily submitting and publishing (sometimes mostly rejecting!) away without prying eyes or ears from anyone, I have to say it was worse.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t suffer with a stutter, nor do I slip-up on my words or throw the papers down in disgust. I’m a surprisingly good reader for a social spazz. What I suffer from is a chronic case of blushing. No, not adorable rosy cheeks, not a mousy little flush – we’re talking cherry from the neck up. I can’t help it; sometimes I blush for no reason in conversation, just because the attention is on me. It comes in little bursts around my fish-belly-pale skin too, making me look like some sort of leper; think Bianca Jackson with an allergy to air or speaking.
What’s worse is when people point it out. I know, I know, they’re just trying to comfort you by acting like they’re familiar with your anxiety and in turn making you feel more relaxed, but frankly, it don’t work darlin’s. The best way to make a pale girl go from cherry to fire engine in 0.2 seconds is to actually voice the fact that she’s blushing, and as an almost-ginge and a recoverring goth, this was never a favourable look for me.
I’ve often found that stress is actually the problem; I get the same thing whenever I’m angry or frustrated. So I guess, visually, it’s not all that difficult to tell exactly how i’m feeling, and this is always an utter pain in the arse. Not only am I forced to be honest in every respect, because lying is just futile, but I get to look as much of a fool as I feel. Now I know people probably aren’t judging me badly. They probably think, ‘Aaw, she’s trying.’ Nicer, but is pitty a good thing? No? A-thank-you.
It doesn’t help that when I speak aloud it feels like I can’t breathe, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I actually did hold my breath ’til the point where my blood rises to the surface to desperately scream for help. Anyone else suffer from this problem?
Anyway, either my body gets the f!ck over the stage fright or I’ll never be a successful author; we’re expected to do public readings, after all. But maybe it isn’t so bad; you couldn’t accuse me of being pretentious, arrogant or vain, could you? I mean how many self-righteous literaries blush when all eyes are on them?
Then again, how many self-righteous literaries would give two sh!ts either way?
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