Yesterday we had a great October meeting with 24 people in attendance and 6 awesome first-timers – welcome Zalman, Adlai, Jake, Char, Uri and Yoora. There was so much positive and supportive energy in the room, and we are thankful for everyone was there, especially you first-timers.
As usual, we split into two groups and began to open up. And as usual, the fascinating idea of advertising came up, and why people do it. One member was concerned that advertising would make him appear weak, and he wasn’t so convinced this portrayal of himself is preferred, over appearing, say hesitant. And maybe he is right, that advertising can sometimes make us seem weak. But maybe a more accurate word is genuine, or vulnerable. Is this really a bad thing? We all know that everyone has some sort of challenge that they face. Some of us expressed that this vulnerability may establish a meaningful connection that otherwise wouldn’t happen, maybe both personally and professionally. Here is an important Ted Talk that you should check out on vulnerability.
We continued the conversation about advertising, and how daunting of a feat that could seem. Some people went around talking about the positive feedback they have had gotten while opening up their stuttering. One member mentioned a book Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, which can certainly pertain to stuttering and advertising. But for those of us who haven’t advertised, but think it could possible help them one day, the good news is that New York City is actually a great place to do just that. There are millions of people to harass here, there are many resources for support and we have the largest stuttering community, probably in the world now, who has your back!
One member asked, “how do I stay confident and not give a shit about stuttering while presenting?” That’s a fair question, and is something many of us have dealt with at the workplace at some point. Getting on stage with all the confidence in the world can be a powerful tool, and can even help some of us maintain fluency. But perhaps an even more powerful tool is the confidence that stays with us while we are stuttering and/or right afterwards. Maintaining your composure, keeping eye contact, staying focused, being eloquent and expressing the content that needs to be expressed, all while stuttering. We can help each other figure out how to get there.
The topic of interviewing came up, and one member shared the quote, “If you’re able to disengage and let go from the outcome and focus on the joy and the journey,” and how beneficial it can be to remind ourselves of that. Everyone has their own journey. We all know that things can be difficult, but we also all know how beautiful life can also be. Some of these challenges we face can seem daunting, and no one said this is an easy journey. But we do live in a place and a time where we, people who stutter, are not alone, and we have each other to build strength.
On that last note regarding our meeting, there will be a scavenger hunt tomorrow night that you should definitely come to if you’d like to meet more people who stutter and maybe even step a little bit outside your comfort zone, or not..you can definitely observe and that’s totally fine as well. There is also an exciting play of performers who stutter this upcoming Monday that you should check out. Several of us will be there, and our own Marc Winski will be introducing the show beforehand, so get your tix asap before the show gets sold out. Lastly, our friend Jake Friedman is doing a cool research project and he is looking for some participants to volunteer. You can go here for some info on that.
And as most of us know, tomorrow is International Stuttering Awareness Day, ISAD. This is another opportunity for us to step outside our comfort zone, even if that means looking at yourself in the mirror, stuttering, and reminding yourself that you are beautiful.
Until next time.