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Daily Prompt: Standout

When was the last time you really stood out in a crowd? Are you comfortable in that position, or do you wish you could fade into the woodwork?

This morning I am sitting here listening to my Barry Manilow music…. loudly.  It’s not too often that I play loud music.  My son is very sensitive to loud noises, but I’ve been noticing lately that since he got interested in drums, he’s been tolerating it, soooo…. Today’s assignment seems to be an extension of yesterday’s Daily Post, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall,” which is fine by me.  It suits me, actually, because it’s like one of my long-winded tangents, except this one is legal.

I’ve spent my whole life trying to blend into the woodwork.  As a kid and young woman, I either was not interested in the conversation or if I was, I could not find the right places to interject my voice.  I had a bad stutter, and that combined with my lack navigations skills, could not get a word in edgewise.  By the time I could get my thought into the circle, the conversation was two or three topics ahead and nobody even acknowledged I said anything.  Yeah, I noticed that and eventually, I just stopped trying to talk.  Even later on, I stopped even trying to seek out being with people.  I was happy miserable.

I can safely say that the last time I “stood out” in a crowd, had their attention, was at my mother’s funeral.  I actually got up and said a few words about my mother.  I have no idea where that came from, but it felt good to have everyone silent and to so obviously know that I had the crowd’s attention.  Since then, my husband and I became lectors at our church and so, of course, when we are reading, people are giving us their attention.  A few cell phones may go off…..

A long while ago, I took a speech class, an adult education class at a local high school.  That was the best thing I could ever do for myself.  Instructions on the different forms of speeches and how to put them together, in the right situation, and how to deliver them.  I gained a sense of confidence from that experience, and really, that’s all you need.  Well, you need your head, to keep it, I mean.  Then there was one time I taught a customer service class to new employees to an inbound calling center.  I had expressed to my manager that my dream was to teach customer service and she gave me that chance.  I had a supervisor sit in on the class and I was supposed to get feedback from the higher uppers.  Unfortunately, I never got that feedback because word came down that the company was dissolving our department and letting all of us go.  The focus was then shifted to closing everything down…. and so it goes.

My last word on this is that now I do enjoy standing out in a crowd, but only if I feel confident and passionate about what I am talking about.  I do not readily feel intimidated as I used to.  I’ve learned to stand up for my beliefs and not feel ashamed of them amongst a crowd that does not share them.  I’ve also learned to respect differing beliefs.  I’ve learned that there are times to steam roll ahead with my thoughts and that there are times when I should not.  Deep down, and for different reasons, it’s always more comfortable for me to fade into the woodwork and what I am the most grateful for right now is that now it’s become a choice.