If asked when I was younger to describe myself in words here are some that I would have used: awkward, big, ugly, uncomfortable, unenthusiastic, and sensitive. I mean really… being me was…. weird. Just look. This poor girl was taller (and larger) than every person her age…even the boys. She had boobs at, like, 8. Seriously. A bra in 3rd grade – that sucks.
Fast-forward to the present. I’m 31 years old now. I’ve changed.
On the outside I’m different. More importantly though? I’m different on the inside. I’m still awkward, but not all the time. I no longer think of myself as big, or ugly. I can still get uncomfortable in situations, but I no longer dwell on it. I’m very enthusiastic about things in my life. I’m still sensitive, but this has made me aware of how my words and actions make people feel.
What was the defining moment that changed everything? Like Cinderella putting on her glass slipper, right? Not exactly. Like I said, everything hasn’t changed. That girl is still in there. But, every once in a while, something happens to make me remember that my story is worth telling. Most recently, one of my very first assignments was to create a podcast of me telling a story. My first thought? CRAP (yes, capitalized). First I have to decide what story to tell. Then I have to record it. IN. MY. OWN. VOICE. I don’t even like recording my own voicemail message because I hate the way I sound. It sounds completely different in my head, I assure you.
I did it, though. I told a story that was from my heart. That meant something to me. That revealed a very important part of my life. I practiced (and practiced some more) and then I recorded the podcast. Honestly, I expected to hate it. I just knew my voice would sound nasal and crackly. But, I pushed play. And what I heard was… different. I have spoken in public before. I usually get very good feedback from it and that always surprised me. How can they think I am good when I know how I sound? Now I understood. When I have a story to tell, I am all the positive things inside me. I am so focused on my story I forget about my awkwardness. I forget about being uncomfortable. I remember that I am enthusiastic. I remember that I am sensitive. I had a story to tell. And I told it well. That makes me feel like this: