They listened to me as I hit notes that I couldn’t reach the last time I performed

I shut my eyes so tight my mascara formed a black rainbow under my eyes

My fists were clenched up to the point that my knuckles turned white

When the song was over, the crowd cheered, whistled and chanted my name

I felt my hands release and I felt out of breath

I had this unexplainable feeling

Not as if I won something

Not a feeling of pride

Not satisfaction

Instead a sense of relief

Relief that I stood up on that stage and showed my classmates my talent

Relief that I found an outlet to this never ending nightmare I suffered throughout my life

Relief that I no longer feared showing people the very thing that shaped who I am today

Relief that for the first time in my life, I rose above the water that I was drowning in for years and all people saw was the passion I felt for singing

It’s not just a passion or a dream

It’s the thing that makes me


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