Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.
I was a late bloomer when it came to talking. I didn’t start talking until later than most kids. I would make noises and sounds, but I wouldn’t really pronounce words. When I did start talking I had problems with pronunciation of certain sounds. This continued until I started school.
Once in school, they placed me in a speech program to help me learn how to pronounce these problem sounds. I remember the letter “l” was a difficult sound. When I would say love it came out as of. Blend sounds were hard for me as well; such as, sh, st, ch and the like.
As a result of this, I developed a fear of speaking in front of others. Not only public speaking, but really speaking at all. I was afraid I was going to mispronounce a word and people would laugh.
On top of this, I am a natural introvert. This led me to follow the lyrical philosophy of Simon and Garfunkel: I am a rock, I am an island. This caused many to label me as shy.
I suppose there was some shyness involved. I purposely tried to stay in the middle of the pack. I didn’t want to stand out or draw attention to myself. In school, I never applied myself to any degree. I was content in being average. Average was comfortable. Average didn’t draw unwanted attention from others.
This really applied to basically anything. I didn’t want to play sports (though I did play for a time) because I didn’t like the attention.
I avoided anything that would cause me to be front and center. I didn’t like people looking at me, watching me or paying me any attention. I didn’t want their critique and I didn’t want their praises either. In short, I just wanted to be left alone.
I never felt depressed about any of it really. I didn’t have dark thoughts or want to bring harm to others. I just enjoyed my solitude. I enjoyed my own-little-world. A planet of one was fine by me.
Of course, I did have friends and family that I would interact with, but not many. I wasn’t so introverted that I didn’t know how to survive in society or social settings. It just took a lot of courage and effort on my part to do it.
As I got older, late teens, I started coming out of my shell a bit more. I had put the speech problems behind me, for the most part. There are still times, even now, when I have difficulty pronouncing words. I have to slow down, or stop, gather myself and then pronounce it.
When I was 17, I became a Christian. Shortly thereafter, I began preaching in local churches. This is the one great irony in my life. I like to say God has a sense of humor. He took someone with speech problems and an introvert and calls him to preach! Perfect candidate for the job!
It wasn’t until grad school and in my post-grad studies that I began to really apply myself academically. (I did somewhat in college, at least the classes I enjoyed!) I decided if I was going to do it, then I was going to give it my best. I graduated with honors from my grad degree and my post-grad degree programs.
Now, here I am using words on a daily basis through this blog. The things that use to frighten me to death, I now find to bring comfort and enjoyment.