After being on a huge high after learning that I was the valedictorian after three years in one of the largest community colleges in the country, reality sat in that I’d have to give a speech in front of a large group of people.
Although I had studies acting for several years, I knew this would be a large feat — I would be nervous, but most of all, I would have a hard time getting through it because my proud parents and brother would be in the audience, having flown in from Germany just for the occasion.
I didn’t grow up in a very touchy-feely kind of family, but there was a lot of love in my family, and it usually came to the surface if one of us has to give a speech in front of other people.
And sure enough, even without looking into the direction of where my parents were sitting, I choked up the second I mentioned my them in my speech.
They were so proud of me, and I knew it and appreciated their support and love so much.
Three thousand people collectively held their breath.
There was silence for what felt like minutes. I couldn’t get out another word.
Then someone started clapping.
And more people started clapping.
And that gave me the boost to find my voice again and to somehow make it through my speech.
Sometimes life is messy. Life happens.
And even though this was kind of an embarrassing moment for me, it was human and genuine, and strangers came up to me afterward saying how much my speech about the German girl who had always been a mediocre student but had fallen in love with the English language and excelling in college and been blessed to have made her parents so proud had touched them.
Life happens :)