I’m Sorry, Public Speaking, We Need To Break Up

In the past, I have been known to get overly emotional about public speaking. There have been numerous instances where I have ended up crying in the car, and one where I ended up crying in the audience. In years gone by, it just wasn’t a competition without ranting about the adjudicators to anyone who would listen once I left the venue. That said, I did always have more success and wins than losses, which I think made the losses, or second places, so much harder to deal with. Public Speaking was my thing dammit, I wasn’t going to let anyone be better at it than me. 
Which is why, after not placing in a competition today, my reaction surprised me so much. Instead of feeling anger, or sadness, I felt…relief. A kind of joy that I didn’t have to go to the next level, that it was over. Even when two of the three adjudicators told me I was robbed, I still couldn’t find it in myself to get upset. 


It was in that moment that I realised I was reaching my retirement. I had been doubting my love for Public Speaking, and Debating, all year, but this moment made it crystal clear in my head: After seven years of public speaking, and five of debating, enough was enough. It was time to walk away. 


As much as Public Speaking has been a part of my life, as much as I’ve appreciated every win and every commendation, as much as I’ve felt that thrill standing in front of a crowd…it was getting old. There are only so many times you can sit in an audience and listen to speech after speech after speech on the education, or politics, or body image. That you can interpret an Impromptu topic. That you can sit through an adjudication. That you can deal with the monotone seriousness of senior boy public speakers, and the angrily sarcastic tone of senior girls. You eventually have to reach your breaking point, and believe me, I’ve reached mine. I no longer find it enjoyable. It’s become a chore, rather than something I look forward to. I still have a bit of love left in me for debating, as it’s a team activity and has a different feel to it, so I’ll likely at least see out this season (we have more people than can fit on one team, but not quite enough for two, so we take it in turns), but this will be my last public speaking competition. Well, I do have one left next week, but I’m almost dreading it and only really not putting my foot down and refusing is because I’ll get to see Quack and Mal there, and it’s on a Thursday which is my evil day without frees. After that one though, it’s goodbye to the Public Speaking circuit for me.


I am slightly sad to be reaching this point, but I’m happy to say thanks for the memories, public speaking, it’s been a blast and you’ve taught me a lot. I don’t regret you at all, but it’s time for us to see other people. How about you focus on Isabel now, she’s rather epic and deserves all the luck and success I’ve had during our time together. It’s not you, it’s me, and I’m sorry. Maybe one day I can come back to you, but it’s goodbye for now.


frangipani princess xoxo

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