I am sweating.
I am sweating through my blazer. Everyone is going to see the sweat pouring out of me. I sit on the sidelines waiting for my turn to speak. I clear my throat and try and slip my foot back into my shoe. Why would I choose this day to wear these shoes? I never wear high heels.
“You speak in front of people all the time. It’s no big deal!” my friend says.
That’s true. It is no big deal. It’s not the speaking that worries me.
I have to pee.
I leave the room quickly, imagining that my pee takes a second too long and I miss my time slot. I look at the agenda which I totally did not need to bring with me to the bathroom. I’m on next. I sit down on the toilet and put my head in my hands. My face is hot.
“Why do I put myself in these situations?” I ask myself out loud.
It shouldn’t be a situation. I can’t let it stop me from taking what I want.
I am ready.
I bring myself to the front of the room. I tell my audience why I should be on the committee. I force myself to look over at him in the general progression of eye contact around the room. He is intensely not looking at me, buried in the laptop. I look at her sitting next to him. She is looking at me and paying attention. She doesn’t know who I am. She is beautiful.
“Time for the vote.”
Time for him (and her) to have a say in whether or not I get this position.
I feel sick.
He abstains from the vote, eyes still buried in that laptop. He never looks up. She votes yes. Others vote yes. And I am on the committee.
“You couldn’t do it,” he told me once.
“I wouldn’t do it,” I told myself.
And then I did it.