2011/12 Note: I talk a lot more. I can talk for hours. And I don’t care what happens.
Not many people know who I am. Sure they think they are all wise, but if I’m lost in myself, how can they do better than me? Moving on, there is a reason to the title of this post. And up until now, I have never wanted to say anything, but it should be out there.
I was a silent kid growing up. No brothers or sisters to play with, and not the socially-active kid. I preferred to stay home and play with my Legos. Don’t question me; it’s just how I was. I never had issues talking though, as even being an immigrant from China, that thick Chinese accent is virtually gone from my mouth. I talked and talked through middle school, and even through my freshmen year of high school. Now here’s where the plot develops.
Somewhere during my freshmen year in high school, I developed a stuttering problem. Whether it was one of those screw-ups I just couldn’t get over or a genetic trait, it caused me some trouble. Being the nervous kid I was, I already had trouble giving presentations and talknig to people. But add this stutter, and my life dramatically changed. I think everyone has heard a stammerer talk. They get s-s-s-stuck on words, and some have it worse than me. My case was mild, as I could talk but the nerves just kept breaking me down. Luckily, the school year was almost over, and the last few crappy presentations were through with.
During the end of summer, I was always wondering how I’d say my name in school. I have my chinese name on every legal document, so I had to correct it. That’s the part I dreaded. Stuttering in front of the class and just being mocked. Day after day, I’d think “man, what the hell am I gonna do?”.
School started in September of 2006, and I walked into my classes. First period, the teacher didn’t take roll, so I was saved for now. Second period, the roll-sheet had my English name, so another lucky save. Now third period, the thing I dreaded happened. When the teacher called out my Chinese name, I raised my hand and briefly stammered. No one said anything, so I guess it was alright. The rest of the day went well, as I recall.
Over time, I met another person in band who also stammers. He has a similar situation to me. Throughout the times I was dreading school, I went on the stuttteringforum often. With all the experiences other people had, I felt better. I thought if these guys have it worse than me and can do their job, why can’t I just do my best? Who the hell cares if I stutter? That statement will be tested by my will several times, but every single time, I prove to myself that I’m doing fine.
So how does this relate to writing? Well, it’s quite obvious. When a person writes, they leave words, not voices. No one can tell if they’re a stammerer or not. This sense of privacy appealed to me, and I started writing blogs and posting in forums. Writing is the only freedom I got without worrying too much about how I’d sound or fumble with words. The ideas and thoughts I had came out easier on paper. The worst feeling in the world is when you have something to say, but can’t say it. And I’ve had that feeling many, many times.
All and all, I talk a lot more now than I did 6 months ago. I don’t live dreading how my words will come out or not, unless it’s a presentation. But when those happen, I pass with excellent scores. Writing has definitely helped me through this stage of life. This is a reason why I write. To express my opinions, even if I can’t get the words out of my mouth.
I hope the best of luck to all those facing their own issues. Especially those who stutter/stammer, as from personal experience, it’s a pretty tough thing. I’m a guy that people don’t usually pick on, so I haven’t experienced bullies yet. There are some people out there who don’t respect anyone. But don’t let their mockeries put you down. Live life to its fullest, and don’t fear failure. These thoughts kept me from losing myself.
“There are times that are hard for a person that stutters, but none is worse than letting the stutter take over.”