There I was, sitting in an audience, about to be taped as a contestant on a trivia game show, and I laughed. Uncontrollable, soul laughter. Because my performance didn't matter. Whether I won or lost, it made no difference. My core would not be rocked by wrong answers, my foundation would not crumble under a loss. Trivia questions would not measure my education, faith, integrity, passions, or dreams. No matter what happened, I was going to be okay.
I took a deep breath. I put away my polished beauty queen smile in lieu of a genuine one. I encouraged my opponent. I had fun.
Fast forward one month of Europe, travel, and growth. I'm sitting in an audition I've looked forward to for months, and I discover there were sides I was supposed to prepare. Not only vocal sides to a challenging power belt, but several pages of dialogue. As the news hit my ears, I waited for my internal siren, the "SOS" and panic that would certainly ensue in my chest.
And none came. A kind fellow audition-er donated her sides to me, I trotted to my car, sang through the song once, and went into that audition room. I was amazed that I was okay. I stood tall knowing that, once again, and truthfully, honestly, this audition did not dictate who I was as a human.
I was able to be myself. I did my best. It wasn't perfect. Parts of my audition were awful. Parts we're stellar. But I did my best and left it there, but I took all of myself with me. I left none of me for them to honor or dishonor; none of myself for them to deem whole or good enough.
I won't be obsessively checking my email to see if I'm declared talented by way of a callback.
I'm all here. And I am whole. I am worthy. I matter, regardless of my performance.
After years of being chaining myself to the opposite belief, I sigh in relief. I step into freedom.