As a writer, one of my favorite things, is when I get asked to speak to a group about writing/being a writer. Now, about 5 years ago, if you asked me if I enjoyed talking in public, I would have turned green, started sweating profusely and then thrown up on your shoes in a complete panic just at the idea of public speaking!
In college at Ohio State, Freshman year, I took a class....Western Civilization or something to that affect, and I had to write a paper/speech to be read in front of the entire class. The assignment was worth a ton of points, and we were informed that we were NOT to read from a paper, we needed to memorize and speak from memory or note cards NOT word for word from our written paper.
The day came to deliver our speeches, and I was a wreck, my mind was absolute mush, I couldn't retain any information, my mouth was dry, palms sweaty, I felt dizzy and ill. When my turn came, I got up, and I read that speech word for word and only looked up once at my friends in the front row of my class.....
I'll never forget the look on their faces either....
It was like they were watching a giant balloon being blow up....and knowing that any second, it was going to pop!
Their eyes were so wide, I knew I must have looked a fright! So I kept reading, more quickly than before, I could feel the heat coming up from my chest, my heart pounding not just in my chest, but my neck, my ears, even my fingertips, THE HEAT came up coursing through my neck and up to my cheeks, which I was sure were a shade of red not normally seen in humans. Needless to say, I had points taken off my assignment, and then and there I pretty much knew that a career in public speaking was just not in the cards for me!
So with all of that said, it might come as a shock to you to hear that I'll be speaking to a group of Girl Scouts this coming Friday to go along with the girls attempting to earn their Scribe badges.
Now I've never been a Girl Scout, but I have the utmost respect for the organization and what they stand for, especially in today's society.
Any time I'm given the opportunity to assist an organization that builds courage, and confidence and character, I'm all in! I'm so excited to talk to the girls about writing, and about the wonderful world of imagination and creativity. I can't wait to possibly inspire them as they do what they need to do to earn their badges.
I remember myself at their age, so easily wounded, scared to put myself out there in any big way....terrified of public speaking, always wanting to just blend in and not be noticed....writing poetry that nobody ever read, lyrics to songs that would never be sung....all because nobody ever told me it was okay to be myself and do it out loud for everyone to see. For some reason, I didn't share the one thing I was MOST passionate about until I was in my 30's, even though I'd been writing since I was a child. What a waste of time that was! If I can inspire one child to have the guts to share her gifts with the world and not hide them....then I'll have achieved an amazing feat. And who knows....maybe you reading this....maybe it will be your daughter or granddaughter that will be at Friday's meeting that I get to speak to....maybe just maybe, something I say will matter in the life of another.
Why I was ever terrified of the absolute HONOR in that, I'll never know!
Now, I must forewarn you that I may not be THE BEST public speaker there ever was or will be, but I promise you this, I'll show up, I'll be passionate and as inspiring as I can be, and I'll do it with honor!
Honorary Scout for an Hour