Previously, I wrote about the film night, which had live performances interspersed throughout, but what I didn’t mention was that I also performed my first spoken word piece.


While in Srebrenica, I’d started to gain confidence in writing poetry and spoken word, and inspiration hit me while I was at the lake.  I decided that I wanted to share more of myself with everyone at TCFT, so that they’d get a better understanding of who I am.


This was an opportunity for me to continue to develop my confidence and lay myself bare for all to see.  For those of you who weren’t there to watch it, this is the piece I performed.


This is Me



The word I’d use to describe myself,

But not the way others would describe me,

Instead seeing me a confident, out there, talkative.

Perhaps all of that is true.


I’m fine with standing up to present in front of others,

I can dance and lead out in the Candy,

In a workshop I will talk and talk,

And I’m happy running around asking questions for my articles.


But these are all roles in my life I can hide behind,

Faking confidence.

I’m happy in the role of reporter, public speaker, dancer, workshop participant,

Yet not so comfortable simply being Shaniqua.


Thrown into a social setting,

I retreat into my shell, like a tortoise;

Afraid.  That they’ll reject me,

They won’t like me,

They’ll ignore me,

They’ll think I’m strange.


So I became awkward,

Silent like a wallflower, not knowing what to say.

Because it’s easy to go into my shell,

But not so easy to come out.


I might come across rude or give a weird vibe,

But that isn’t me at all,

I love people; it’s off people that I thrive.

But I struggle to let my barriers down,

Stopping you from seeing the real me.


Not the person in those roles,

But the Shaniqua who is chatty, friendly, warm with a big heart.

The weird girl who laughs at stupid jokes;

That’s the real me.


But I’m also good at putting on a mask,

Hiding the insecurities, fears, hurt and many scars,

My smile becomes a diversion,

To the damaged individual,

Who is also me.


Maybe you’re asking how I can be so open and honest,

When I claim to be shy and I struggle to hold a conversation.

I guess because talking at you is kind of easy,

It’s talking to you that I find hard.