Thursday, May 5, 2011

the one without a picture

i thought long and hard about a picture for this post. but what would a picture of stuttering look like? colin firth?

so there is no picture today. but on we shall march.

i had a little presentation to give on tuesday.

it lasted only two minutes, but the amount of stress, anguish and embarrassment it created was enough to wreck me for a day. even sitting outside during lunch at the picnic tables, chicken wrap in hand and a warm breeze at my ankles, i couldn't shake it.

because i did so utterly, completely horrible. enough for my boss to ask what happened. enough for the silence of a million crickets to fill the room. enough for tears to well up and my face to flush. immediately after, i wanted to run to the ladies room, sit in the first stall and just cry. because as much as i love myself, as confident as i am in my ability to write, communicate and interact, my fault is being human.  being crackable and breakable. fragile, i suppose.

but i did something tuesday that i am immeasurably proud of. i didn't run. i didn't even look down, against all my instinct and intuition. i held the tears locked in position, and willed them, with a force not entirely my own, but more of God, to not fall down  my cheeks. and they didn't. they stayed in little half-pools until they faded back to where they came from.

and it may seem small. i suppose, after all, it is small. but it is a victory, nonetheless.

i may never be free of my stutter. for all the therapy, special hearing aids, and reading practice, there will inevitably always be that room full of intimidating people who, with one look, can undo me.

but if i can pull myself together, as i did on tuesday, i know i'll be just fine. because yes, no one can make me feel inferior without my consent. but in that conference room, surrounded by a sea of corporate chaos, i realized something.

no one includes me.

24 comments:

Jane said...

Oh, Courtney. You darling girl. Thanks for your openness and honesty. I cannot imagine the maelstrom of emotions you felt. But I am so delighted that you found something positive to take away from it. You are a gorgeous soul. J x

Bibi - Simple Summit said...

*hugs* I hate presentations are a hard experience for you, but it's very good to see you found the strength to go through with it and in the end see it positive. You are a wonderful girl :)

the southern hostess said...

I'm incredibly shy in front of large groups and can relate to this in a small way. I'm so proud of you for getting through it and sharing this. So honest and thoughtful and beautifully written, as usual!

DaisyGirl said...

That is not a "small" victory. I believe it's nothing short of something great! A complete God thing!!

Ana* said...

I am the girl who never participates in class even though she knows the answers. This post hits home for me as well.

ps: this is totally unrelated to this post, I just watched the trailer for wild heart can't be broken. Thanks for telling me about the movie, I just added it to my "must watch during vacation list" :)

Tiffany said...

Love your last line about how the "no one" includes you! Something that I sure know that I need to remember. Good for you for being so strong and getting through it!

~Tiffany
http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

Lillian (Unstitched.) said...

Beautiful words. I love this - we are always our hardest critic too, aren't we? It reminds me of Eat, Pray, Love - when she says that we have to start loving ourselves wholeheartedly, and not let our mind dictate how we feel about ourselves. That was a glorious victory, and you did wonderfully.

emily morgan thompson said...

I'm so glad to have stumbled upon your blog awhile ago, because your words always give me something to smile about :) Thank you for sharing this...it is exactly what I needed to hear. Awhile back, I heard a sermon about there being no room in the gospel for condemnation, and that included condemning OURSELVES...something I do too frequently. thanks for reminding me to be proud of myself, not make myself feel inferior!

McKinley said...

I can totally relate!!! I have a learning disability, and didn't learn to read until I was 12. I still have a difficult time with this because it is just the way my brain runs. I know exactly the feeling you are talking about!

I love the way you write, you have such a beautiful way of intertwining the words together so poetically. I really enjoyed this post. Thank you for sharing!

Dawn said...

I am in tears right now.
I am proud of you.
You are an inspiration.
Thank you.

shopgirl said...

You are so right. Good for you for staying strong. Speaking in front of any number of people is always difficult. I remember when I first started teacher training that I would get IBS and I'd have to run to the toilet afterwards. Now I'm okay, but I learned a lot about myself.

Glad you're doing well sweetie! xo

Amber Blue Bird said...

Good for you! I am glad you found the strength inside yourself to carry on :)

Thisisme. said...

I am so very proud of you dear friend! Well done. You should have thought of all your little bloggy friends just willing you on. Your posts are an inspiration to us all, and we love you for your wise words.

M. said...

Oh, you beautiful creature! His grace is sufficient for us, his power made perfect in our weakness. Proud of you, sister.

Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} said...

Didn't Moses have issues with his speech? Yet God used him in a special way in the history of His people. Moses spoke boldly before Pharoh, and changed his heart....speech impediment and all.

So you're pretty much as awesome as Moses. Which is pretty cool.

Jennifer Rod said...

I'm proud of you. I can totally relate to those moments when you just want to be non-existing... it's nerve wrecking. but im glad you were strong. btw, I really love the last line.

Diana Mieczan said...

Im so proud of you and I know how hard it had to be, my dear!! You did so well:) Yahoo...for being strong! This is such a brillaint post:) Have a relaxing afternoon. Kisses

chambanachik said...

There is so much braveness in this.

Shalyn said...

:-( I am so sorry you had to go through this but am so in awe by your strength. It is astounding.

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

This is such an amazing post. You did so well, that was so brave of you to stay there, to face your fears, to not let your insecurities get to you.
Gosh you are inspiring.

Blondie's Journal said...

We all have strengths that we really have to dig down deep to find. They aren't always apparent, but they are there. I identify with you in more ways than one, but I won't go in to that, you put it perfectly in your post. Thank you!

XO,
Jane

Lynn {hearted girl} said...

awe lovely, the Colin Firth beginning was perfect. how you weave your way through a post like this, with a topic so close to home amazes me. the cracks you speak of must have been so painful and i'm sorry you go through experiences like this. i feel pride swells on how you overcame the onslaught, you should be so proud of yourself. triumphant comeback indeed. xo ♥

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

This is really a lesson I need to learn. It's hard in my graduate program. Some of the professors can be real jerks. One made me cry before a presentation a few weeks ago. I walked into the room with eyes puffy and red, but I still did it. And one day soon, I'll be able to show them all.

sarah nicole said...

You are amazing! I am proud of you for staying strong and keeping it together. Public speaking isn't one of my strengths, so I know how hard it can be and how quickly everything can fall apart. When it happens to me, I put it behind me and move on, like you seem to be doing. : )

Good luck with the test too! I know you will ace it.

xo,

Sarah

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