A Tale of Poetry and Failure (or lack thereof)

Note: many apologies for the after-midnight post, lovelies - we got home quite late tonight, but I wanted to write this up for all of you anyway.

Hi all!

I had a post scheduled today on failure - or, more specifically, on failing gracefully. A sort of companion to an earlier post on redefining success, if you will.

It appears, though, that I'll have to save that for another day, because it seems a bit ironic to be writing about failure, considering the events of tonight.

It was, all in all, a good day for a performance. It was raining when I woke up this morning - rain being, of course, one of my absolute favourite things the world has to offer - and I suppose I took it as a lucky sign, even though I'm not particularly superstitious. The rain pulled a slight fog over the world, and I think all of us careened through today in a bit of a comfortable waltz. I know for me, at least, it passed in a blur.

A good day, yes. One might even call it poetic.

I mentioned it once before, but I must admit I did not have particularly high hopes for the Poetry Out Loud competition at my school. I love poetry, as you all know very well, but I've never really performed it live before, let alone as part of a competition.

And so I stepped onstage at 7 PM tonight hoping I didn't look as nervous as I felt, and this is what I said:

(I just realised I'm wearing a dress the exact same shade of purple of the shirt in the sidebar photo. So that it's on the record: contrary to what may turn into popular belief, I do in fact own clothes that are not purple. ;))

I thought I had done moderately well - perhaps not amazingly, but it's not as if every performance can be spectacular, no? And so I settled back to watch the 29 other (absolutely incredible, I might add) performances.

It was nothing short of shocking when the five finalists were announced and - lo and behold - my name was at the top of the list. This, of course, meant that I was expected to perform first out of all five. (But no pressure or anything.)

When I stepped out onstage for the second time, it was with even more nervousness than earlier. My second poem, you see, was a rather risky one - the performance was something daring, if one is kind, or reckless, if one is honest. Once again I began, and this is, more or less, how it went:

And then, after another four increasingly gorgeous performances, the winners were announced.

Shall I explain something to you about how I handle awards? I must admit it's possibly not the best method - I am one of those people who tends to wander around in a surreal daze, pretty much unable to believe that they've won something.

So please do forgive me if even this post sounds a bit off, because I'm still struggling to wrap my head around the fact that I just won first place.

I think my sister was a bit more interested in the grand prize - a gold iPad mini, which is quite something - but even without, the fact that I was chosen out of all these lovely poems and people for first place was... quite something in and of itself.

So all in all, this post was really just a long-winded way of telling you: success and failure aside, I'm going to bed smiling tonight.

love, Topaz