I joined the Speech team my Junior year (‘21-‘22) and my piece was in poetry. I wrote and performed this piece, Escaping Reality and doing that was a lot of fun.

Since I was new to performing this art, I was continually changing things and working on improving. In reflecting on this season, I want to share a comparison of how much I improved as something I can look back on and also encourage you to see how far you can go when you put in the work!

Beginning of the Season (Jan ‘22)

End of the Season (March ‘22)

Wow, a lot has been transformed and shaped between these performances over a few months!

Escaping Reality – Written Out

         Rain falls. Leaves rustle. Friend, Please. My clothes get wet. I walk on the path covered with leaves and half naked trees that surrounds the trail. In a forest, or somewhere distant, heading nowhere. In. Particular. 

         I walk. Friend, Please plays in my earbuds, to my ears, to my brain tearing apart each lyric, yet I am only hearing them. I ignore the words, the story, the point, the message it sends to all the hopeless turning to something in their last moments deciding whether to live or not.

          Next Migraine plays. I walk through the forest. Now I’m soaked and still alone with my thoughts. I’d rather this and be myself than someone I’m not.

          I write this sitting in a dry room, imagining such peace, making a scenario up to escape my reality of a loud, arrogant family that makes me feel. So. Trapped.

I’m surrounded by people I’m supposed to know, but they don’t know me. I’m surrounded by people, but never felt so alone. 

          You don’t need to be alone to be lonely. You’re only lonely when you’re with the wrong people or are missing someone or something. 

           Car Radio. No car in sight. No radio, but my phone plays the tune. Too relatable. I want to cry, but the tears can’t form and WON’T STREAM DOWN MY FACE. Only the cold drops of rain touches my cheeks and wets my body. I wish tears could cry for me. I wish they would fall down my face, to let stress out, but nothing.

           That’s because I’m in the living room wearing a mask. For covid. A social mask. I can’t cry, not now, they’ll see me. Too early in the night. They’ll ask what’s wrong, pretending to care, or wanting to invade my privacy. It might be good to open up to them to get things off my chest, but maybe it’s better not to in fear of being invalided, because I will be. I have no reason to be sad and to cry. How do you help your mental health when you have no one to turn to?

           Writing is one way I cope with stress. As Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you”. This is the result of exerting that energy in a creative, non-violent way. After venting everything up on the paper, I reminded myself that I have some hope. That the story does not end there with my intrusive thoughts, thankfully. This is Escaping Reality by myself with lyrics from Twenty One Pilots, For King and Country, and Scripture from the Bible.

           Frustrated, yes, try to find patience. Find peace. In it all. In all the crap and frustration and anger of it all. Find patience with yourself, give it time, be patient. You’ll be you in time. It’s the hardest wait, but it will be worth it.

           A shiver runs down my back and reminds me of how soaked I am. Every step I take water oozes out of my shoes. There’s not a dry spot on my entire body. 

           Kitchen Sink plays. I start to hum along. I am searching for a purpose, any purpose, for me. Maybe I have one already, but can’t see it yet. The depression foggs my mind. Maybe I don’t have a purpose at all, so I am searching. I will figure out this issue and find a solution. Some day. 

        There has to be some sort of meaning to this life. I sing along to the chorus: Go away, Go away / Leave me alone, leave me alone.

        Not Today. If I can’t find anything today, then not today, maybe tomorrow, have hope in tomorrow.

        Goner plays. I fall down to my knees, hands covering my face as I sob. Feeling hopeless again.(p) I’m a goner, somebody catch my breath / I’m a goner, somebody catch my breath. Have you ever become so depressed and hopeless that even your Christian beliefs can’t help? Or, so you think they can’t help.

          Crying out for help, something to trade the pain for anything anything else. The wind makes me colder. My tears are prayers straight to the Lord, my distress translates to words when I cannot form a sentence. I cannot think.

           The realisation that I’m crying makes me cry more. Somebody catch my breath. I sob. I’M A GONER, SOMEBODY CATCH MY BREATH / I’M A GONER, SOMEBODY CATCH MY BREATH / I WANT TO BE KNOWN BY YOU / I WANT TO BE KNOWN BY You

          I wanna be known by You. I will be known by You. That’s it! That’s my purpose. To be known as someone who loves God. I pray. I praise God for such a realisation. There is a reason I’m still alive

          As a Believer, that song has value, it is special compared to other songs. Music is an important part of my life, it controls my emotions, for better and for worse. I hear the lyrics consciously and subconsciously, remembering what a song means to me.

          Tiredness falls upon me, yawning, I roll over on the trail, tossing and turning in the mud. I let out a laugh and feel myself smile. It feels so good to act and be a child, no responsibilities, care-free, my pain ceases. I lay there and no longer shiver. I wanna be known by You.

          If somebody finds me here, they wouldn’t know me. Only God does. There’s a kind of love that God only knows. God knows me, I am known by Him. I wanna be known as a Christian, how my walk could shine Jesus through anyone. They will know we are Christians by our love.

          I smile, rise up, and walk. Feels better. I’ll walk down this path with trees and leaves again another time. I’ll have to come back and revisit its beauty; what a nice break and short relief. I want to be in this quiet nature fantasy again soon. If I can’t be there in person, then I’ll be there in my mind. I’ll find the trees and the scenic view, in the deepest and most concentrated part of my thoughts. Not paying a spec of attention to anything around me in the living room, but surrounded by the crisp breeze, rain, and freedom.

           Away, yes. Away from here. Run.

           I run as fast as I can. The adrenaline, sensation, and excitement rushes through my body. I sprint as fast and as far as I can, I know it won’t be far, but I stop at the wooden bridge, gasping for breath, feeling ALIVE. Feeling like I can outrun my problems, except that’s not good. Not good, to run away from your problems. I must confront them face-to-face one day. 

           Until then, it may be a struggle, but, I’m not the only one. There’s others like me. Same situation, different location. We’ll face them one day, when we can and when we’re ready. We won’t run away from our problems. 

           Still feeling trapped. Not knowing where I am but don’t. Think. About. That. Breathe. Walk. Cold, but not freezing.

           Trees. Peace. Rain. Gentleness. Wet. Patience. Drops of rain hitting water in the river below the bridge. Joy.

           Jump? No. Jump. No. JUMP! NO!

           The battle inside myself. The internal war, whose side am I on, and who’s winning? I don’t know. But I think God is on my side. Which means I am for living and I have hope, some hope, even if it’s a small sliver of hope, it keeps me alive.

           No, I’m not jumping. Not Today. Love. Accept, Myself.

Why Join Speech?

I joined initially thinking “Oh, well, I want to improve my public speaking skills, especially since I want to pursue a career in the Air Force, so why not join Speech?” Then I found out poetry is one of the events, learned I could write my own, and I fell in love with this extra-curricular activity.

It encourages me to pursue my own interests, writing, which makes me feel accomplished and valued. Since English classes in school don’t always give you a chance to express yourself, I clung to Speech like glue does on paper. The team and coaches make me feel a strong sense of being included and belonging.

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