Everyone has a

Nicole - Blacksburg, Virginia
Entered on October 22, 2008

It is first grade and I am trying to say C as in Casey and M as in Mary but for some reason I can’t. Everyone else does not have a problem speaking. Why do I? What is wrong with me?

All of my life, I have been made fun of for my stuttering problem. It has always been a part of my life. When I was made fun of it was not on purpose. People just didn’t know how to react to the way I said some words. But it hurt. So, about a year ago, I decided to begin seeing a speech pathologist. It was due to her that I began to realize that I was indeed my own unique person. I had no idea that I could be different in a good way.

During junior retreat in high school, I was able to tell my peers how I felt about my stuttering. Surprisingly, everyone comforted me and made me feel loved. They saw me for me, not for my stuttering. Sean, a big football player at my school came up to me after I shared and just hugged me. I had never really talked to him before so it meant a lot. I came out of this retreat a changed person. I was ok with the fact that I had a stuttering problem. I was able to realize that it really didn’t matter.

About a week after retreat I went to my normal speech lesson. I explained to Amy my teacher about my experience. She taught me that everyone has “something” they may not like about themselves, but it is that something that makes you who you are and different from any other person on earth. At first, I just blew her off her whole idea. But after rethinking what she said, I came to realize that it did make sense. And I should speak up even if I stutter.

I used to keep quiet in class but now I am not afraid to speak my mind. In math class I always knew the answer to the problems, but I did not say anything. After I started speaking in class my teacher took me aside and asked where I had been the whole year! It is those who step out of the norm and actually be who they are that get somewhere in life.

Saturday at Julie’s party I met Melissa and Carl. It took me a few seconds to say their names but I said them anyway because I believe in being who I am and not being afraid to show it.