Saturday, November 19, 2011
I’m not your average young person when it comes to (at least) one thing: I don’t like change. I hate new situations where I don’t know what to do or what is expected of me. Change isn’t exciting. It scares me.
Even change in myself frightens me. I remember when I was changing from a child to a young adult; I cried buckets over the fact that stuffed animals stopped “talking” to me and playing with them was no longer the way to pass afternoons. I felt my imagination was dying, and I felt it keenly.
Of course it wasn’t. Being a writer allows one very wild part of the mind to continue to engage in those adventures. They were young adult and grown-up adventures, and the characters were medieval people, not stuffed cats, but it was still in a place for my imagination to live and thrive.
Back in 2007, approximately, my intense concentration and love of playing my violin began a long waning process. Considering I didn’t stop taking private lessons until last spring shows how long I clung onto something that I used to devote hours even as my interest faded (though I still love orchestra). This too hurt and still hurts. I feel like I’ve abandoned my beautiful violin in the same way I used to feel I’d abandoned Calico.
Now, with the college process underway and hopefully drawing near a close at least application-wise, I’m scared again. I’ve been a serious novelist for four years. I’ve been writing for ten. I still love my stories, but I have new loves crowding in. Economics. Philosophy. Government. History.
I’m applying to Princeton and Rice, Davidson and Hillsdale.
And The King’s College.
This little nondenominational Christian college, nestled in the basement of the Empire State Building, is tugging at me. I already have a basically half-tuition scholarship and recently found out about a chance at full-tuition through a contest that involves an essay...and a presentation. We’re going to visit in December. Me. In New York City.
I’m terrified of falling in love with this school.
Mom says she first found out that I was good at public speaking was at a Young Stateswoman Society meeting, way back when I was twelve. Knowing my shyness around people, she said she honestly had no idea what I would do when I got up in front of that little group for my presentation. Then, according to her biased opinion, I hopped right up and did better than anyone.
Dad re-confirmed this with my participation in the speech class with TeenPact in 2009. He too said it was one of the best speeches presented. Granted, I was talking about something I loved (Robin Hood), so I almost enjoyed it too. Though I drew diamonds all over my notes while waiting for my turn.
This summer, for love of OYAN, I stood up and did a short, “um”y speech that I didn’t care for that much on critiquing. Apparently the Schwabauers liked it, though, so I must’ve not failed as badly as it felt.
I hated every one of these incidents. I remember stupid things I said, things I executed poorly, and of, course, my pounding heart and shaking hands.
I don’t like speaking anymore than I like new situations or trying to figure out small-talk with other teenagers.
At TeenPact we had a speaker from the Missouri legislature give us a talk. In it, he asked the room for a show of hands--from people who didn’t like the idea of standing up in front of a group and talking. And then he caught me be surprise. He said, you’re the people we need talking.
I think this college would make me talk.
And that's scary. There's still a part of me that would rather sit in dark corners and write novels all her life. But there's the side of me that wants to talk. Wants to be pushed.
Oh God, help me.