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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Real Life Terrifying Event.



Happy Halloween Everyone!

Today has been a mostly normal day, for Halloween.

I spent the day at work, finishing up some homework, and getting all the transactions processed so we can close out the financial month.  It was a busy day, as most ends of the month are.

I leave the office at 4:30, to make it to my auditing class with some time to spare.  I am already feeling antsy.  I just want the day to be over.  The thought of upcoming events of the evening give me a slight pang in my stomach.  I feel flushed.  I take deep breaths, and try to remain calm.  It is only 15 minutes, I repeat to myself over and over.

I think of all kinds of things.  Some reassuring, and some terrible things that are ridiculous.  Computer malfunctions.  Insufficient research.  Time.  Bloody noses, vomiting, fainting or even heart attacks.  Similar times when things went really well.  Similar times when things went really bad.  My hands are clammy.

It is my normal routine to swing through the McDonalds on my way to school.  I get a double cheese burger, large diet coke and an ice cream cone.  The cone distracts my mind, as it is so tasty.  The cold icecream makes my face feel cooled down.  I don't want to be all red faced, how embarrassing.

I get to class, and it is nearly empty.  "It is Halloween", I think to myself, "maybe no one will show up. As the clock nears six still only a handful of students are in attendance.  I distract myself with facebook, twitter, cnn and the like.  I think about my tax project I need to finish tonight.  It does an alright job, but in the back of my mind, I know what is coming.  One by one the students trickle in.  Soon the room is full.  Everyone is here tonight.

I chit chat with both of my desk neighbors.  We are friendly due to several group projects we have done through the semester.  Their confidence relaxes me somewhat.  I have nothing to be scared of, we are in this together.  I am amongst friends.  After all, it is only 15 minutes.

I think about fear logically, as my stomach churns and my palms sweat.  "Fear is in our minds, it isn't real.  You are your most successful when you ignore fear and just focus on getting the job done."  I am calm, but only for a minute.  I want this roller coaster to end.

Class starts.  We talk about revenue recognition.  I can't even pretend like I am paying attention.  I am too focused on the ticking clock.  The time is almost here.  My face is flush again.  This is when I turn to God.  I ask Him to calm me over and over.  I ask Him to help my brain understand that it is only 15 minutes.  This is not a big deal.

The time has come, and my desk neighbors (we are in this together, remember?) have completed the task flawlessly.  It is here, the time has come.  I get up out of my seat, and proceed to the front of the class...

It is my finally my turn to give my 15 minute presentation in my auditing class.  I rapidly scroll through my powerpoint presentation about the top 10 most profitable horror movies of all time.  I have notecards, but I don't say about 30% of what I wrote.  Fun facts and witty jokes that would have given me an extra edge, I couldn't slow down and focus.  I don't feel too nervous, though my voice quivers in a couple points.  I am in a twilight zone out of body experience that I just want to get over as fast as I can.  I wrap the whole thing up in about 8 minutes.  Whoops.

Phew.  It takes my body another 15 minutes to feel back to normal.  My stomach stays clenched, my face still flushed.  I start to get concerned about my grade.  How long exactly did I talk?  Did it meet the teacher's expectations?  Do accountants really need to be skilled in public speaking anyway?

Now I am home, and soaking in the relieved feeling that it is over.  Good God, I hate public speaking.

Now I am off to finish this tax project.

Happy Halloween!




2 comments:

Laura said...

So sorry that was so scary for you, public speaking def. is scary for lots of people. I hope you got a good great on the project! good for you for going through with it and facing your fears!

Natalie Hinkley said...

hah, thanks, I don't know why I freak out about it so much. In hindsight, it doesn't seem like a big deal at all - of course at the time, it is awful. Hopefully I will never need to give a presentation again. lol

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