A Tale of Poetry and Failure (or lack thereof)

Hello friends! I had a post scheduled today on failure—or, more specifically, on failing gracefully. A 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 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 must admit I did not have particularly high hopes for the Poetry Out Loud competition at my school. I love poetry, as you 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 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 just a long-winded way of telling you: success and failure aside, I'm going to bed smiling tonight.