29 Jun Talking is Terror

I had to give a talk in church yesterday. You’d think that because I give lots of speeches in lots of places, that therefore it must be old news for me now. A walk in the park, a meander on a beach… Ha.

Here’s me and my thought processes from yesterday.

5.45 am – Oh sh**, have I overslept? Did church start already? No? Whew.

6 am – Only three more hours to go. I better get dressed. Tell the Hot Man to get his kids up and ready. We haven’t been to Sacrament meeting in three months but today, we can’t be late.

7am – I’ve narrowed it down to a black skirt and a MENA top. Cant go wrong  with a MENA right?…wrong. These flowers make me look more gigantic. My butt is huge in this skirt. Nobody will listen to a word out of my mouth because they’ll be too busy thinking about how gigantic I am. Get changed.

7:15 – This dress doesnt fit anymore. Stupid dress. I hate you. Get changed.

7:30 – Right, I’ve squeezed myself into Spanx and a puletasi. Looks good. Right? Yes? No? Yes.

7:45 – Straighten hair. Need to wear it down so face doesn’t look so big. Hot Man wants to know why am I straightening my hair when time is running out? He needs to get out of my space before I lose it. Can’t he see I’m a nervous wreck?

8:20 – Ohmagoodness I can’t breathe properly. It’s this Spanx. I’m dying. I can’t wear this.  I can’t give a speech when I’m all squished like a sausage about to explode. Get changed. Put on…black skirt and MENA top. The Hot Man sees me change AGAIN, but knows better than to say anything. Bella asks, ‘isn’t that what you were wearing in the beginning?’ Go away. I need to read through my talk one more time. One more time. One more time.

8:35 – We better go. We’re gonna be late. Children get in the car. WAIT THE HELL UP! WHAT ARE YOU WEARING BOY?? Little Son has on a pair of pants that are way too small for him. He’s all wannabe wounded and confused, ‘Whats wrong? I always wear these.’ What’s wrong? He’s so tall now that the pants don’t even touch his ankles. And his bum is about to bust out of the seat. He’s gonna sit down in church and his pants are gonna rip and we’ll all have to look at his bum because you KNOW this boy never wears any underwear. He’s walking like  his boy bits are all tied up in a steel vice. That’s how tight his pants are. WHO LET THIS BOY WEAR THESE PANTS DAMMIT?! You need to change boy. He’s whinging that he’s got ’nuffing else to wear‘. I’m not interested in his sob story. I will leave him at home with the dog if I have to. Doesn’t he understand I have to give a speech in thirty minutes? Big Son gets his brother an ie faitaga. We all go to the car. WAIT! I need to pee. Or puke. Or both. Either way, I have to go to the bathroom. Then we leave the house.

9:05 They’re already singing the opening song and saying the prayer. Bishop beckons for me to come sit on the stand with the other lady who’s speaking. I can’t. I feel hyperventilation coming on. I need to pee. Or puke. Maybe faint. I have to go to the restroom.

9:10 I’m still in here. Reading my talk one more time. One more time. It’s nice and peaceful in here. Breathe. Breathe. Do the yoga thing. Okay, you got this Lani. Your hair looks nice, nobody will notice this black skirt makes your bum twice as big – because they will be distracted by the MENA flowery top. What if they hate your talk? Doesn’t matter. They’re not allowed to throw rocks at church. If everybody hates you after this, you can just never come back to church here again. It’s all good. Breathe.

9:15 Go sit down on the stand. Have the bread and water. Say a prayer.

9:20 Panic. Racing in my chest. Sweat. Trickling down my back. I want to jump up and run to my car. Flee…flee…flee! Look at the distant mountains outside. Focus on the clouds and the blue sky. Yoga breaths. You can do this. You’ve given speeches in NZ, Australia, Hawaii, Utah, American Samoa…at universities, schools, literary festivals, Stake Conferences, Regional conferences…you got this. Say a prayer.

9:30 The other woman gets up to say her talk. There’s a sharp pain in my chest and then a spreading numbness down my arm. I’M HAVING A STROKE! SOMEBODY HELP ME I’M HAVING A STROKE!

9:50 She’s still talking. Lots more pages left in her speech. There won’t be any time left for me. Maybe Bishop is going to tell me to wait till next Sunday to give my talk. I wanna be sick. How can I go through this again next week? No, please I have to say my speech today. Now. I feel dizzy. The audience is looking hazy. I’m gonna fall off my chair. I’m fainting. I know why this is happening. Why there’s no time left for my speech, why the other speaker is taking all the time. Because God doesn’t want me to give my talk. It’s a sign. He hates my talk. If I get up there, I’m gonna be struck by lightning. That’s how badly God doesn’t want me saying all this rubbish I’ve got written on these papers.

9:55 She sits down. It’s my turn.

I give my talk. There’s no lightning. I don’t puke. Or faint. Or fall over. Nobody throws stuff at me. My butt is still gigantic but it’s okay.

I survive.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way about public speaking? How do you survive?

 

8 Comments
  • Apparently public speaking is rated as humans’ number one fear. Even Winston Churchill known for his powerful oratory skills admitted to feeling very nervous every time he was about to speak in public.

    June 29, 2015 at 1:31 am
  • Dahlia Loibl
    Reply

    wow.., i go through the same experience.., even when it’s teaching a class, i still panic. anyways, i loved your talk., thank you so much., xoxox

    June 29, 2015 at 1:47 am
  • Lily
    Reply

    The older I get, the worse my public speaking gets. All is not lost, as I too LOVE Mena.

    June 29, 2015 at 1:51 am
  • Pualele
    Reply

    I survive on lots of prayers and deep breaths too 🙂 I heard about your talk and I’m not even in your ward. It was that good! Glad you were able to give it.

    June 29, 2015 at 10:02 am
  • Vagivagi
    Reply

    Okay, too much information–biutI get the runs… And after the talk, I don’t want people to come up to me afterwards to even talk about the”talk” I gave. I want them to forget about the talk, just in the manner that I was trying to forget my anxiety. Lets not prolong it, by bringing it up afters its been Done.

    June 29, 2015 at 1:16 pm
  • Sandra
    Reply

    hahahaha, i think we all feel this way when we have to speak at church. I just love that you point out everything and anything that can possibly go thru one’s mind as they put themselves thru this ‘hell’ right before the talk:):) I’m sure your talk went well and all were attentive. And your outfit was just as cute as it is on the Mena models:) Take it easy Lani, you’re a pro at this ‘public speaking’ thing. A talk at church is right up your alley:):)
    See above comment to confirm:)

    Alofa,

    June 29, 2015 at 3:12 pm
  • Sandra
    Reply

    hahahaha, i think we all feel this way when we have to speak at church. I just love that you point out everything and anything that can possibly go thru one’s mind as they put themselves thru this ‘hell’ right before the talk:):) I’m sure your talk went well and all were attentive. And your outfit was just as cute as it is on the Mena models:) Take it easy Lani, you’re a pro at this ‘public speaking’ thing. A talk at church is right up your alley:):)
    See above comment to confirm:)

    Alofa,

    June 29, 2015 at 3:12 pm
  • Theresa
    Reply

    Was an excellent talk. I didnt see any nervousness or thought you looked about to puke. Thank you.

    June 30, 2015 at 5:03 pm

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