Before I get too far, I have to write about how my first ever speech for Toastmasters went! For every member of Toastmaster, there comes a time when he/she has to write his/her Icebreaker, a special speech that tells a little about the new speaker in a 4-6 minute time-frame (hence the term Icebreaker, it breaks the ice for the audience, made up of mostly experienced Toastmaster members who remember very well doing their first speeches and can really relate). By now me and my sister have been coming to Toastmasters for about a month, so we've gotten to know all of the members pretty well. All the same, I had a very hard time preparing for the whole "standing-in-front-of-a-small-crowd-yapping-about-myself-for-5-minutes" experience. Actually, from Sunday the 12th to Tuesday the 15th (the day I gave my speech) I was in total panic-mode, Annette Levy style.
Annette Levy style panic-mode is not fun at all, it involves a lot of crying, floor-pacing, conflicting emotions, doubt-filled thoughts, and bashing of the ego, and it also made me feel more hungry and tired than ever, not that I could take a break for one minute from preparing for my all-important speech, no way. I could hardly believe how scared I was of speaking about myself for a small audience (not more than 10 people including my sister), when in the past I've done all manner of things that require a lot of courage, such as traveling to Boston for 16 days with only my sis Bettina for company, and performing Improv (see older blog posts).
My family was super-supportive, especially during the weekend before my Icebreaker. They all kept reminding me what a special person I was, and gave me all sorts of great material to use in my speech. For me, it's challenging to talk about myself, because if I catch myself talking about all my wonderful talents and achievements, it makes me think that I'm being boastful, and who wants to listen to a braggart? My mom and my dad told me over and over again that it was perfectly okay to be proud of myself and toot my own horn, as long as I'm always honest and don't hurt anyone with my words. Easy enough.
Boy oh boy, when Tuesday morning rolled around, I was acting like I was going to get a tooth removed or something. I wrote some helpful notes about myself to give me memory boosts, just in case I should happen to get hit by instantaneous amnesia. @.@ (hypnotized face) Bettina drove the both of us to the meeting so I could do some uninterrupted deep-breathing. As we took the elevator up to the second floor of the A.I.U. building, all the fear I had inside me dissipated until only excitement was left, and I felt very calm and full of energy at the same time, but I wasn't quite as scared anymore. When I entered the room and saw all the friendly faces in the room, my nervousness all but disappeared.
If you like, you can watch my Icebreaker speech right here on this post.
Just like that, it was all over, and I went back to my seat the proudest I'd ever been of myself. I could've done a much better speech, but I couldn't have put a bigger effort into what I made myself do. I could've very well delayed my Icebreaker indefinitely, but instead I faced my fear head-on and came out alive! After the meeting was over, Bettina and I drove to Publix and treated ourselves to some chocolate. I had an Almond Joy, and Bettina had these caramel-turtle thingies. Then we went right back home where congratulations were showered on me by my brother and my parents. ^.^ I was so happy. We ended the day right by going out to the movies to see "Pirate Radio", a nice comedy stuffed with rock-and-roll music and history plus poke-in-the-ribs fun at the expense of the pompous stuffed-shirt British government of the '60s.
In other news, my brother Adam had his 12th birthday on December 10th (^.^ I made him a lovely handmade birthday card). That was a Thursday, and we also celebrated his birthday on Sunday at our favorite weekly beach hangout with our friends and bought a couple bags of Hershey's Hugs and Kisses to share.
The Hugs are white chocolate with little chocolate swirls around them. On the 4th he ordered this Harry Potter wand from eBay and he's been checking the mail every day since, but nothing's come in yet! He's very anxious to get it. It has a light-up tip I think. On the 9th we got him the DVD of "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" the day it came out, so that was good. The special features are awesome!
I think that's enough out of me for now. See ya real soon, and I mean it this time. Goodnight everybody!