I mean, what can I say? It's been like this for the longest time. I freak out mentally when I have to argue something, be it for moots in Year 1 of law school or, like today, for a real application before a real judge, and I freak out mentally because I just can't do it. There are a few things in life that I readily admit to being unable to do. Mathematics is one of them. Public speaking is another.
To me, my lousiness at speaking is very well balanced out by the fact that I can write a lot better than I can speak. In fact, I think I even hide behind this "writer" thing to make myself feel better about the fact that I can't speak well and can't think well enough on my feet to speak articulately when I have to, like today. Would it have made a difference if it had been a case that I connected more with, that I felt more for? I don't think so.
Speaking has never, EVER been my forte. I didn't do well for my valedictorian speech in junior college too; I was chosen because Science students in my JC can't speak English properly. If it had been any other JC, I would not have been up there at all.
To be fair, I think my stint in litigation thus far has improved my speaking skills (or vast lack thereof) a fair bit; but today definitely proved that I'm still the same public speaker that I've been all my life, and I don't think that's going to change.
And you know what? I don't have a problem with it at all. I don't like to talk - it's a fact. Even apart from public speaking, I don't even like to make small talk with strangers because I can't think of anything interesting to say, and I don't find what they say to me interesting at all. I talk when I want to; when I'm compelled to, I'm awkward and irritated.
I hate the fact that I lost the application, if only because I hate losing as a matter of principle. But above all else, and most importantly, what I hate most is that I was put in that situation where my shit public speaking skills were so embarrassingly exposed. I can accept that it's volenti non fit injuria, and yes, it comes with the job.
Which is why today confirmed, yet again, everything that I've been saying about this subject for the longest time.
Good riddance. Bad rubbish. You know the drill.
Anyway, I was really feeling super miserable the whole day and not wanting to deal with anything work-related, feeling irritated by the pretend-urgency that some people forced on me, blah blah bullshit blah. I left for tennis lesson feeling physically and emotionally tired, but when it ended, I felt like I'd been given a new lease of life.
Tennis seriously makes me feel better about...well, everything, generally. Of course, when I think about going to work tomorrow, it's almost enough to burst my tennis-induced happy bubble. But still, I was grouchy and moody when I left the office for tennis; after tennis ended, I was chirpy and had a bit of a bounce in my step. And I didn't even feel tired at all, even though I'd just whacked balls for an hour and fifteen minutes. Mind you, the process of whacking balls took quite a bit out of me - my t-shirt was drenched, I was panting, I didn't know that I was grunting until I heard it myself. And that ONLY happens when I'm like, hitting the 10th fucking forehand and the ball still comes back.
(Duh, it was coaching, so obviously the ball came back. But when I'm playing for fun the average length of a rally is maybe 5 shots, and that's a generous estimate. Anything more than that and I try to finish off the rally so that I can rest.)
Despite that, I'm feeling totally re-energised right now. All this is going to go away when I wake up in the morning tomorrow for work.
So, happy thought: the Burmese coach (he called his country Myanmar. I wanted to ask but it seemed too loaded a question for that short period of time) did the usual forehand/backhand/volley/serve drill with me. He corrected my backhand grip on the right hand which I tried to adopt but I don't know if it worked. As usual, my backhand was too flat, and after today I am more convinced than ever that I have ZERO technique on the backhand. My backhand is mindless ball-bashing. There's like, no spin on it whatsoever. NUS Wall Guy would remind me to brush the damn ball but I always revert to just bashing it across the net, which is why it goes into the net half the time.
The good news is, I'm gonna change my right hand grip on it and see if I manage to get more spin on the ball. I'm playing Thursday and Friday night and I can't waitttt.
Also? My backhand volley is SHIT. I naturally step away from the ball which is damn stupid because tennis is all about throwing your weight into the shot. The forehand one is okay-ish but it's damn hard to hold the racquet and keep the wrist locked so that my flimsy wrist doesn't make the ball go all over the place. Needless to say, I have no directional control whatsoever on my volleys. I'm happy to just punch the ball over the net.
As for the serve, I suppose it's a good thing that I can tell that I can't serve because I don't feel the ball at all when I "hit" it. Burmese Coach said I was just pushing the ball. That explains why 70% of my serves don't pop, literally, upon ball and racquet contact. It's really all in the damn ball toss. I just can't get it high enough consistently. BLEAH.
Lastly, I discovered, with a certain degree of pleased horror, that I suddenly acquired some semblance to a backhand slice, like, almost out of nowhere. I was happily slicing balls on Saturday. I failed to slice back a slice, but at least the ball didn't just drop off my strings and land two steps in front of me.
I'm going to bed now. Er, that's it. I love tennis. Everyone should play it. It's so fucking therapeutic, I wish I could play it all the time.