What did I do to deserve this? I'm not sure. How did I go from where I was to where I am? It all seems so impossible, it truly does, and yet here I am. I'm sure luck had nothing, but I can't help but feel as if I won some sort of lottery, or some sort of sweepstakes, because, right now, I wouldn't trade anything in my life for something else.
What a week it's been! Of course it started with the TouchPoint golf tourney, and then the amazing presentation and conversation in TouchPoint's Parent Training on Tuesday, but yesterday the week got even better.
The Thompson Center had a conference in Cape Girardeau and I was one of the breakout sessions. I have to admit I was actually scared of this presentation because, well, it was scheduled for three hours. THREE hours! My PowerPoint presentation, if a stretch it, can go for 90-105 minutes. This presentation was scheduled for 180!
Slowly the time came was approaching for my presentation and I am always fearful no one will show up. I struggle with the, "Who am I?" concept and often wonder why people care what I have to say, but regardless those thoughts person after person filed in and at 1PM it was go time with about 70 people in the audience.
I'm not sure what it was yesterday, but I was on. This isn't to say I have ever been "off" because I can only recall one presentation I didn't have my A+ game, but yesterday I had my A++ game. Words were easier, the humor and timing were flawless, and my tone on the tear jerking lines were as heartfelt as possible.
Maybe it's because of the lack of presentations I have had, maybe it was the environment, or maybe I'm still learning how to speak in a group, or even still maybe my passion for raising awareness is still growing. Whatever the case there wasn't a doubt in my mind that my words were being heard.
My format for the three hours was my normal presentation followed by a cookie break (the Thompson Center served the cookies, not me. I don't bake and actually have a fear of cooking, well, a fear of someone burning the house down while cooking. The world is a safer place with me not cooking!). I was sure that I'd lose most of my audience after the cookie break as the only thing I had scheduled, and I let the audience know this, is the final entire hour would be Q&A. As 3PM neared I had not lost a single audience member.
It was an honor, and absolute honor, to have people stay around another hour to hear me ramble on some more. Just as with the parent training class a few days prior those in attendance couldn't get enough. The whole hour was spent in discussion and the questions were awesome.
One question let me recount the days of busting the VCR by watching the same thing over and over again and another question talked about what it is like when I read (it is just like watching TV for me, except with my mind being the screen) and even another question that spoke of literalness and humor (I recalled a line my friend, Rob, said and I laughed to the point of crying).
When the three hours were over I was almost shaking. I grabbed my computer bag and only remaining box of books that I had and forgot my conference packet and name tag which I was actually highly depressed when I found that out as I really wanted that so I can fully remember the experience I had. I hope the audience enjoyed it, but for me it was such an amazing time. So many people cared what I had to say and some found humor, some had their hearts tugged, but me? I once again found my voice, passion, and reason. I told the audience, "I'm still waiting to wake up. If you could have seen me two years ago I didn't talk much and rarely left the house. I thought I would never do anything in life, and yet here I am, it must be a dream, right?" I know it isn't a dream and what a life it is. I get to bring a message that there is always hope, it may not appear like it and it may take a time, but I am everything I thought I couldn't possible be. Yes, I may not be a race car star, and I may not have won the lottery, but without a doubt I feel like the luckiest person on this Earth.