Sometimes I wonder if my memory is normal or just plain poor. I don't have access to anyone else's mind to examine their memories and compare them to mine. So, I just don't know, but I'm suspicious. But there are a few memories that are strikingly clear and I am currently finding myself haunted by one of them. I was in elementary school perhaps 5th grade- close enough- playing at recess. I was a competitive gymnast at the time and loved to tumble and do tricks in the grassy field. I remember one afternoon one of the girls in my class talking me to me one recess when I was enjoying myself on the field. All I remember is the moment she said "Heather, you're such a show off." I stopped in my tracks and my heart sunk to the floor and my gut wrenched. Just remembering it brings back a taste of those feelings. I had never thought of myself as a show off and that seemed like a horrible thing to be. Sometimes I did gymnastics where anyone could see and sometimes I did it where no one could see. But I couldn't deny that I liked to show people what I could do. I don't even know what makes being a show off so horrible- but it still haunts me.
You see- I am a show off. I love to perform. I love to be in front of an audience and express- whatever it is- whether I am speaking, teaching, dancing, singing... I come alive and find joy. Even if I'm nervous. Is that so wrong? Sometimes I think it must be vanity, that I need people to adore me but it isn't the adoration I seek. It is how I come alive. l love finding a connection with my audience, touching them in someway, and focusing their thoughts. And I am good at it. But I still carry with me the voice of that school girl so many years ago- tainting it. Somehow I believe I am not as noble of a person because this is what I enjoy.
As a result, I try to tone down the significance of any performance. But when the rubber meets the road I realize they are most important to me and I want in my audiences those I care about most. And I am always helplessly grateful for those who come to support me. I feel like those who do come to a performance whether big or small are those who love and understand me the most. I still have a bouquet of flowers my brother gave me after a dance performance 3 years ago that only 2 friends came to- it is in the bookcase in the hall. I have it because it meant so much that he would leave his kids and come to Salt Lake to watch and support me in a performance whether or not the actual concert was worthwhile.
I hope one day to recognize that there is no character flaw within me because I love to perform. I hope one day to express to those I love how much they give to me by supporting me big or small. I hope to enjoy my strengths and stand tall in them.
So I say to you school girl from Sequoia Elementary- You are Absolutely Right!! I AM a show off!!