In Spite of You

Hi, Hey, Hello!

Happy Wednesday folks.

Right okay, so the challenge today (actually last night if you wanna be technical) is to set a timer for 30 minutes, use the stunning song that is Alive- Sia and write. Just write. 

There is an electricity in the air. Something that is hard to pin point but it was an evident change. There was a moment where things felt like they were fine, but then a second ticked over and there was a change.

A terrifying one. The kind of change that makes goosebumps prickle out all over your body. Makes the hairs on the back of your neck and your arms stand to attention. It’s almost uncomfortable. It makes everything seem unsettled. There is nausea and a pressure building up between your eyes that is threatening some kind of anxiety induced headache. Or make you throw up.

One of them is an inevitability as the atmosphere of the room continues to get tenser with every second that ticks loudly past on the clock. Or you will get put out of your misery one way or the other. Preferably the way that means that you don’t have to stand up and address a whole room full of people..and whoever is electing to spend their evening watching this.

It doesn’t go that way.

And suddenly that electric atmosphere has ballooned into a full on storm in your head. There is an uproar of noise and somewhere there are some lights flashing. Not that you can focus on anything except putting one foot in front of the other, blinking away that headache that is getting more persistent with each step and trying really hard to not, well throw up. Or turn around and go running back to your seat. Pretend that none of this is happening. It wasn’t your name called. The chorus of ‘Congrats!’ wasn’t directed at you as you moved through the crowd. It was all happening to someone else. You had gratefully clapped as someone else won. You were still sitting in your seat, comfortably sitting in your seat with the reassuring presence of her next to you.

Except you were standing on the stage. In front of people. With a matte black microphone in front of you. And eyes. So many eyes. Staring at you with an intensity that you would rather not be experiencing.

And then you remember that you are supposed to start thanking people. How many people are you supposed to thank? There are the obvious people. Then there’s her. But then what? Are people gonna call you out somewhere in the internet, or everywhere, that you at no point thought it appropriate to thank your parents. Or anybody in your family. I mean you can thank some people in a family. Just not yours.

The ones that always made it seem like the best thing you could amount to was..well not very much. They didn’t ever really believe in you. Never really wanted you to amount to anything that was more than them. Didn’t want to be reminded that you still had the freedom to choose when they decided to settle. You got to make mistakes. Huge mistakes. Little mistakes. Just mistakes. You didn’t take no for an answer. You knocked down doors and made the most of the opportunities that were presented to you.

You worked bloody hard to get to this point. And yet, they always kept telling you that you needed a practical back up plan. You needed to do something with a bit more responsibility. Something with security.

You needed to be more like them.

But you weren’t.

And now you were here. Standing on this stage with all these eyes staring at you. Sweat pooling in slightly uncomfortable places. Actually just feeling generally uncomfortable. Your throat was dry and scratchy and how the hell are you supposed to talk right now? The lights are too bright, the noise is too loud, the thing in your hand is too heavy. The award. There is too much going on and apparently you are supposed to remain outwardly calm or something.

After a few seconds everything seems to silence. It’s definitely all in your head, but you are grateful for it nonetheless. Just some silence. And the feeling of nausea to go away.

So you take a deep breath, flick your gaze around the room full of eyes that are all staring at you waiting for something and find the pair that you know best.

And begin.

Main sign off

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Sophie, twenty-something, avid reader, writer, really good at watching whole seasons of TV shows in one weekend and using 10 words where 5 will do, overzealous user of the ellipsis and parentheses, starts too many sentences with ‘and’ and ‘so’, living in a continual state of Wanderlust.

4 thoughts on “In Spite of You

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