I will be the first to admit that I have a pretty bad memory. I mean it is the WORST. However, I do remember the moment that I was most proud.
There I was, 2014, and I was embarking on a new career path (Surprising, right?) for the State and I was honestly just there because the training was paid and I didn’t have to do anything. Our trainer was a 30 year old guy and full of life. He told jokes and stories throughout these long tedious 3 weeks. We had to complete an activity about our life. We had to DRAW it out on a piece of paper that was cut out like a pie. It was supposed to resemble the “pieces of me”. It was a cute activity to let our personalities show as well as get some background on our fellow coworkers. Okay, so everyone took a chance to stand in front of the classroom and describe their “Pieces”. Some drew a sun or a cross to symbolize how happy they were or to symbolize God. Some drew their family and kids…so forth and so on. This activity was over a span of 2 days. I hadn’t gone. In fact, I was the last person to go.
I didn’t want to. I was afraid of speaking in front of people. I didn’t know what to say. I lost the damned piece of paper anyway. I told the instructor that I was going to pass because I didn’t even know what I did what the paper. Instead of letting me off the hook, he said, “Wing it!”
I don’t even know what to say with the paper in front of me, let alone, WITHOUT THE PAPER EVEN BEING PRESENT!
I had to wing it! I breathed in a deep breath and stood up in front of about 20 people. Everyone was restless and in their phones or either sneaking peaks at the clock hoping it would be 5:00pm. I mean, it really was Friday. I surveyed the room and began speaking. I began telling the story about my life. Who cares? Right?
Well apparently everyone cared. As soon as I finished the first sentence, I had everyones attention. I was sharing my story but in a way it could connect to people. I was be vulnerable. I was looking every single person in their eyes. I was walking the room. I was intense. I was on fire. I was ALIVE.
Wait, what? Did I say alive? Yes. I was alive. I felt as if there was something that had been dormant inside me for so long. I felt like this beast of a monster needed to be freed. This story of my life needed to be told. I felt as if everyone in that room was my family and I NEEDED to help them by sharing my trials and tribulations and my personal vulnerabilities. At that moment, I was no longer apprehensive but I felt liberated. I felt unstoppable and unconquerable. I felt like the Queen of the World!!! FIRE!!!!!!! BURNNNN!!!!! LET IT GOOOO!!!! I wasn’t stumbling, fumbling or stuttering. I WAS FEELING IT!
After 10 minutes or so past, my story came to a dramatic end. My “Pieces of Me” story turned into a single woman play. The whole room was floored and teary eyed. My instructor stood and looked at me and started clapping. The room followed suit.
He said, “Did you notice that the room stopped texting and having side conversations the moment you began speaking?”
I laughed sheepishly.
He said, “You know…..you know….you know…..are very well spoken and communicate with the audience well.” LOL I wouldn’t go that far but it was appreciated. Those kind words were appreciated. This most dreaded moment transformed to the proudest. WOW. Funny how life goes.
I have a very big fear of public speaking like most people. I am introverted at best. Now it is my proudest moment. I learned something from that day. The best accomplishments comes from the perceived impossibles.
I DARE YOU!