If anything came out of the speech tournament yesterday, it was that I learned what not to do. Next time, I will practice more and certainly not enter with a speech that is 12 minutes when you need to be under 10. Also my speech on EDNOS (Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified) fit more into the informative category than the persuasive one. My family and classmates tried to help me make the speech better, but I did not want to change what the speech team professor liked. Now I realize that I should have listened to others as well as him.
Yet, despite going over on time and not doing very well, I am feeling ok about the tournament as a whole. This was my first one, and I did not use a script. Plus, just talking about such a difficult subject in front of strangers was a huge challenge. Overall, I did fairly well if not perfect.
Even better, I bonded closely with my teammates. Instead of tiptoeing around my eating disorder and fear of food, we talked about it openly. Most people feel uncomfortable and try to silence me. However, they all supported me even when they did not understand my hatred of eating and fear of cheese. Being authentic helps me to heal especially when others continue to accept me.
In fact, my comfort level allowed me to have some dessert at Culvers with the team. It has been years since I have gone to Culvers. Plus ice cream frightens me more than any other dessert. Yet, I knew that I needed to have my daily dessert. Plus my mom had made me promise to eat something. Choosing and ordering the food turned out to be the hardest part. No one complained about fast food, weight, or body image which made the experience enjoyable rather than too nerve-wracking. Perhaps I can eat with them again in the future.
The last challenge of yesterday was staying overnight on campus for the first time. Hannah, a sweet girl in a few of my classes, had offered for me to stay any time. Finally, I summoned up the courage to accept her offer. Others have reached out to me in the past but I always turned them down out of fear and not wanting to be a burden. Although I did not get too much sleep (that seems to be how most college students operate on campus), the experience was positive overall.
So I conquered many fears yesterday and ended strangely ok with my failings. Sure, winning or at least not being disqualified by going overtime would have been nice. But I did many difficult things yesterday which is what is truly important. Next time, I will enter the situation more confident and stronger.