Ever have that sinking feeling as you make a comment, when the thoughts that feel brilliant in your heart fail to emerge from your mouth as intended? I have these moments frequently as I attend courses here at university. Sometimes the disappointed feeling with my class comments lingers into the night, and I keep myself awake with repeated admonitions in my mind: "This is what I really meant to say." Of course I try to stop obsessing and figure the moment is past--so it does no good to rehearse what I wish I would have said, right?
Perhaps not; perhaps those anxiety-filled rehearsals have some benefit afterall. During the second day of class this semester, I made a comment that fit the above-paragraph's description. It left me troubled for weeks, during which time I formulated the exact words I wished I would have said. I even rehearsed the speech to my husband. "See?" I complained. "Why couldn't it have just come out that way in the first place?" He gave me encouraging feedback, and I felt mollified, but figured the moment to use those brilliant words would never come.
But it did. Yesterday, the exact topic that had left me with a verbal fumble months ago rose again in class discussion. My heart sprang into action, pumping the words I wished I would have said straight to my brain. My hand rose in the air, and with a perfection that only comes through practice, I delivered the message intended. My words flowed with precision, art, and poise. My teacher wrote my comment on the board, asking the class to contemplate it in preparation for where future discussion would go. I felt triumphant, strong. My feet marched a victor's stride out the classroom door and I thanked God for my neurotic, rehearsal-prone brain.