When I was in high school sometimes I used to think of funny things to say in class. This was a thrill for me because I really liked to think of funny things.
But then the whole thought process started. The one inside my head that told me not to say anything because if I DID IT WRONG IT WOULD BE TOO AWFUL TO BEAR.
What if everyone thought I was dumb? What if no one laughed? What if the popular girls thought I was stupid for speaking up? What if I lost the friends that I did have? What if the teacher was mad? What if I couldn't speak because the heart I felt throbbing in my chest was so loud that no one could even hear the words that I wanted to come out?
Then I tried to do the teenage equivalent of YOLO. I made myself raise my hand. I spoke. Sometimes people laughed. Other times people looked at me like I was dumb. But I remember distinctly, quietly feeling an acute sense of pride. I had done it!