I almost didn’t come here today. I almost left this very moment to fester in the “what if” section of my brain which, like every other speculation, would have eventually ruined something that could have been beautiful. This opportunity presented itself to me as life changing, as poetically as a leaf that falls onto you in the forest and you pluck it from your shoulder and for the first time you see the line and the texture and the symmetry and you know it is your calling to be an artist. I found this chance, like an old postcard from my mother, hidden underneath the things I thought were important and I almost left it there, because I almost let someone else make me feel like I wasn’t good enough. I am good enough. Even if I stand here and my body shakes, and my palms sweat, and my words don’t move you, at least then I’ll know. Even if I stand here and fail harder than I have ever failed at anything, at least I’m standing here. We are told daily that we can do anything if we try, and my reply is if we can do anything, then why aren’t we trying? I don’t want to live in a world where my success as a human is measured by the arbitrary standard of how many people think I’m talented; I want to live in a world where the only thing that matters is that my eyes open in the morning, and they close again at night, and every moment in between where my eyelids kiss like star-crossed lovers, only to be torn apart again, I feel beautiful. I am good enough. A bird does not lay awake at night and wonder if it a good bird, a bird just flies, and we are blessed with eyes that can see into the soul of another person, and we have this miraculous vocal construction that allows us to speak. We have fingers that can gently caress, we are so blessed. We have the power to make someone else’s like a little better, so why do we use our gifts to hurt each other? I am not afraid to stand here and tell you that I am imperfect; I am not afraid to tell you that I have never done this before. I am standing here, and I am doing something new, and how dare anyone try to make me feel like I’m not good enough. I am good enough, and so are you.