I don’t remember a lot about high school. It is a defense mechanism, I am sure. After all, my dad passed away when I was fourteen. My childhood was lost in a moment. I had no patience for teenage angst and drama. I stopped being able to relate to my friends. After all, I was dealing with life changing issues. And I wasn’t exactly coping to well.
Growing up, I was always a quiet and shy girl. Somehow I managed to come out of my shell when I turned twelve. But when my dad passed away, I reverted. I barely spoke. I kept to myself.
Public speaking was a required class. The thought of it made my stomach flip. It was a nightmare, or so I thought.
All these years later, unlike so much from that period of time, I remember every inch of the classroom. I remember my teacher too. He was a man, whose claim to fame was teaching Howard Stern. I don’t think he taught one class without reminding us of that little tidbit. He was a hard ass too. He didn’t have much patience. I dreaded my first speech…
But then something strange happened. I got up there and discovered that the reality wasn’t as bad as my imagination expected. Even though my voice was probably no more than a whisper, I felt comfortable. I realized I could speak in front of people. I also realized I liked it.
The shy and quiet girl I once was is now gone. I tell people about her, and they don’t usually believe me. And over the years, I have had to speak in front of groups of people. Sometimes it was a prepared speech. Other times, it was on the fly. Regardless, I no longer have any fear. I am comfortable. I love it.
When I the opportunity presented itself to do a book reading and singing at Barnes and Noble I jumped at it! It was a dream come true to read an excerpt of Dangled Carat at the large bookstore.
I was thrilled to see how many people turned out for me, Meredith Schorr and Jennifer Gracen.
It was such a high reading, or should I say acting out my story, especially when the crowd laughed at the right parts. I couldn’t help think about that shy and quiet girl I once was. I knew in that moment, during my five minutes of fame, she was proud of me.
Public speaking… do you love it or hate it?