It was back in the sixth grade. I had just finished taking a vocabulary test, for which I had yet again not studied for ahead of time. However this was not the reason that would normally be construed with a lack of preparation. I was by no means an inept student. I simply felt that I was one of the best students and I had no need to study. Of course that was probably typical of students at that age. The date the school spelling bee was quickly approaching. Even though I was confident in my abilities, I still felt a little nervous. I was certain that if I prepared well enough, I would do just fine.
There comes a time in every young person's life when a choice must be made....to spell or not to spell. I was confronted with this choice during the height of my elementary school years, which coincided with the peak of my shyness.
I won the school wide spelling bee, which would cast me into the limelight at the district competition.
It's important to understand that the issue was not my ability to spell, but my fear of those countless probing eyes watching for my imminent failure. I felt confident that I could cream any and all competitors in the district spelling competition. I knew that I would be a smashing success. Unfortunately, my shyness overtook my desire to succeed in the eyes of my peers. I was afraid of being pulled forward, separated from my peers, and singled out in a way that would draw unwanted attention.
As my father would later advise me, I had to get over my pre-conceived notion that I was as important as I led myself to believe. In the eyes of the world, especially in the eyes...