Yeah, I know the title to this is spelled wrong. It’s funny how that was the word that I screwed up when I was in the town spelling bee. It has forever shackled my mind to the important lesson of being humble.
My mother had been town spelling bee when she was younger. I was able to spell quite well also. It was one of my strong suits in school. I had qualified for the town spelling bee. I thought I was destined to be the spelling bee champion. I couldn’t be more proud. I had never felt more confident of anything in my life. Even to this day that statement is true.
I remember flying through each word they asked to be spell. None of them were even a challenge. One by one the contestants dropped off. It got down to the final 3 and I was one of them. My next word was shackled. I laughed to myself as I started to spell the word.
“S-c-” I immediately folded on the table I had been standing over and buried my head. I couldn’t hold back the tears. For a couple of moments I stayed there silently sobbing in my known failure. I couldn’t comprehend that I had failed. It had never crossed my mind. I was going to be the spelling bee champion. It was in my blood. It was my destiny. All those thoughts of my pride after I won were dashed. Even more embarrassing was the fact I KNEW the word and I had to spell it incorrectly because once you started there was no going back. It was obvious to everyone in the room that I knew it as well.
“S-c-h-a-c-k-l-e-d. Shackled” I choked out trying to conceal my tears. There was no way, as they were on full display.
I’m not sure if I ever got over that. It still sticks in my mind and it riles me up when I think of it. It was a defining moment also though. It showed me that destiny is a bunch of crap. It also showed me to be humble. I still to this day think that I should have won that spelling bee, but if I had, there wouldn’t have been a lesson to learn. If I had won I may not be as humble as I am now. I don’t accept compliments very easily because in my mind there’s always something better. I think losing that spelling bee instilled that in me. It wasn’t so much the contestants were better, it was that I thought I was better. I learned real quick I was wrong.