I stepped up to the giant "S" where Rannie told me to stand and gripped the mic in my right hand.
I stared up at the flag and started singing.
I kept my eyes locked on the flag.
The words poured out of me while I thought about how the flag's stripes aren't really that broad. I thought about how close the mic was to my mouth, and how I tend to overarticulate my consonants. I thought about how the song is about a flag still standing after a "perilous fight". I thought about how the flag is still waiving through this government shutdown. I actually started to get emotional thinking about how much this country has faced and how much I love this country. Then I thought, "Where am I? Are the words that are coming out of my mouth the right words?" And instead of stopping myself, I just let the words keep coming. I even thought, "This sounds great!" And then I sang "red glare", and I didn't like how that sounded. And I thought, "Relax". All of this. While the words just kind of kept tumbling out. I began to think about how odd it was to have all those thoughts at the same time. It was unnerving. My hand started to shake, then my whole body started shaking. My whole body didn't really start shaking until I noticed my hand shaking. Thank heaven I was too distracted thinking about the government shut down to notice the hand until the end of the song.
The whole experience was a gift.
I am grateful for "The Star-Spangled Banner", for my talents, for Emily for giving me the opportunity, and for my parents for teaching me the words of the song back when I was four so I could have this whole inner monologue at the same time.
Here's a picture of the volleyball game!