I am The God.
I am The Supernatural.
Before me lies the devastated ruins of a forgotten planet – called Earth.
Those were the opening lines of a speech I wrote and delivered in a Grade 8 Public Speaking competition many years ago.
It was a bold story of my dissatisfaction with how mankind had turned out and my decision to destroy the planet. This time – instead of water – I decided to use wind to blow away the failure. There was no Noah, no Arc. Everything was cleared away, nothing survived, and I was starting over.
Surprisingly, this speech was very well received. It was different and audacious – and I was ‘promoted’ from school competitions, to District level and then the Regionals. That’s when things started to unravel.
It was a 3-hour car drive on a cold Saturday morning to attend the Regionals. I knew my speech, I had practiced the delivery endlessly, and I was prepared …. except for one thing I couldn’t have predicted. When the judges walked in and took their places, it was like the floor opened up underneath me.
One of the judges was a Catholic nun.
I had only recently transferred to the public school system. In my post on St Joseph Catholic School, I talked about the unhealthy, deep-seated fear I had developed of nuns. How was I going to pull off this speech with one as a judge?
It was about to get worse.
There were only two people competing in my category and the other contestant was delivering her speech first. She was the quinessential ‘perky girl’ – a tiny blonde cherub chirping about Happiness to a captivated audience which mirrored her enormous smile back at her.
I was doomed.
By the time she was finished, the entire auditorium was high on Happiness and I was about to bomb them with the destruction of the planet by an angry and vengeful God.
My confidence deflated like a balloon.
I think it goes without saying that if you’re going to be cocky enough to play God, you need to display the confidence and authority in manner to pull it off. I couldn’t. I didn’t.
I was a terrified, squeaky-voiced young girl frozen to my spot of the stage by the stern and increasingly hostile stare of the nun before me. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from her – caught like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming tractor-trailer.
It was not my finest hour.
Happiness won the day and this humbled ‘god’ went home defeated in more ways that one.
Over the years I’ve delivered numerous speeches and presentations to audiences both large and small. None ever came close to bombing as badly as that horrible experience. For years I wanted to blame the stern-faced nun who crossly stared me down that day.
In truth, I had defeated myself before I even started.
Thank you for visiting today. Hope you enjoy today’s treat of Pecan Pie.