My Stutter is me – and has been a trusted ally in my life’s journey. One may ask how something unpredictable and unnatural to society can be considered an ally.
Stuttering is unpredictable, courage isn’t. Courage gains respect, my stutter just gives me an opportunity to show the world what I am made of.
I find this to be a great life’s lesson to all and one that I am continually learning. It has allowed and driven me to a walk that is not perfect, but mine. As Into the Wild song “Guaranteed” poignantly states, “I knew all the rules, but the rules did not know me.” I have found that this naturally has allowed me to forge my own life’s path where the current rules of society do not apply, yet the laws of respect and courage do.
My stutter feels like riding a bike on ice. Sometimes you see the ice ahead and feel the uncertainty that it brings. You may hold the handle bars a little tighter or pedal a little faster with the knowledge of no matter how tight you grasp the bars or how swift you pedal there is a fear of losing control and falling. The question I have for you is if you were on this bike with a patch of ice in front of you every time that you spoke, how would you ride that bike?
My stutter is honest, brutally honest. Every day it reminds me that I am imperfect. Do you have something about yourself that makes you feel this way? On the flip side it has taught me the strength of letting go. In the words of John Steinbeck, “the moment that I realized I wasn’t perfect, I became good.”
One of the most important lessons that I have learned when finding my own voice is I did not know how to listen.
My whole life I have spent wanting to be heard and for people to listen to my own voice. Once I found my own voice I shared it with booming pride for all the years of not feeling heard. Only until recently did I realize in this pride I was not listening to others. It has taught me the need of others to be heard.
My stutter has been with me my whole life and am fortunate that on my journey and through the experiences, wisdom and courageous acts of others, I have learned and found a path which is genuinely my own. For this I am deeply grateful.