who’s holding you back?

my hands tremble in my lap, and my stomach’s going to commit mutiny, i just know it. i glance over my shoulder nervously, not wanting to do what i knew i had to.

“you’ll be alright,” they assured me. “you’ll do just great. you always do. you were so scared about everything else, and you survived those, didn’t you?”

“yeah...” i admitted grudgingly. “but this different,” i quickly added.

they gave me a look. “how?”

“i... i haven’t done this part before,” i pointed out.

they shook their head, chuckling. “now you’re just making excuses.”

“no, i’m not!” i defended. “besides... i don’t know what they’re going to think of me. they might make fun of me.”

they leaned forward, dark eyes serious. “who’s holding you back: them, or you?”

i sat there, waiting. the time stretched on, my stomach rode up and plummeted back down an emotional roller coaster. my hands were sweating, my face felt hot, and my heart pumped like crazy as i got off the bench, heading down the hallway.

but their words echoed in my mind:

“who’s holding you back: them, or you?”

- -

don’t hold yourself back.

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