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.