Monday, December 10, 2012

Actual Outcomes

So dressed for success
The thing people fail to warn you about when it comes to your memoir is how much you'll cry. The first draft, I didn't do much until I finished. Then I spent a few hours drinking beer and sobbing. Then the second and third drafts ripped open wounds I was unaware I still had. I even edited a section about happy things and couldn't stop crying. It got to the point I couldn't open my word document without cringing.

And then I started reading sections out loud; to my sister, to my friends, to my mother. I read certain sections so much my eyes felt like they'd bleed. Then, I read a chapter where I was bullied to the point I attempted suicide, to a classroom.

Then, I prepared the first chapter to present in front of a room full of adults. And this, is how my presentation on December 6th, started.

I read the first chapter, and near the second page...I felt the lump in my throat. My hands took on a tremor. When I looked up (like you should during all public speaking engagements), every single eye in the room was on me.

It was hard to breathe. The small voice in the back of my head kept saying, You're just reading a book, you're just reading...But I wasn't. It was my life and it felt like I was eight years old watching my sister get beat by my father.

I sat next to the president of the
organization. Intense, no?
I didn't fully cry, but I got choked up and recovered by saying, "As you can tell, I'm still a little sensitive about all of this," and continued talking. I told the group about the presentations I did where young girls reached out and told me about the horrors they're currently living through. About the fact that they hurt themselves. I talked about the drop-out rate and how we as a society need to step in and try to guide the kids who are growing up in broken homes.

When I finished, I was surrounded by adults who hugged me, called me brave, and strong, and further confirmed that I am doing the right thing. I met a man who is involved with a high school program, and they may be able to bring me to a new district. A lot of it is in the air, but I can breathe a little easier. When I finally got in my car, I was still shaking.

There is a huge difference presenting in front of adults verses teens. I felt like I had significantly less room for error and rambling. But at the same time, hopefully it is these adults that will help spread the message that life can get better. Even if you live in a crappy household where all you're told is that you'll never amount to anything, it can get better. People will tell you your whole life that THIS (failure) is your projected outcome. It's not true. My sisters and I grew up with awful parents. We all graduated high school. We all got college degrees. We're not alcoholics,  homeless, drug addicts. We are functioning members of society.

But even with all of that, when the presentation wrapped up, I was presented with an award in my name. Suddenly, everything that I've been doing became real. Because I grew up in that environment. I'm doing what I love to do. For the first time in a million years, I'm happy.

And this is the moment everything became real
Moral of this post and of my presentation is this: No matter your circumstances, you can amount to something. You can be anything you want to be. And once you're there, you can help other people amount to whatever they want to be, too.

Happy Monday.

10 comments:

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  2. So happy for you, Lynne! You really are changing people's lives and it's only a matter of time before you rocket to the top. Proud to be your friend.

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  3. Sometimes it's easier to hide from your past, and it takes true courage to look back and face memories that shouldn't be there in the first place.
    You're doing a very good job, Lynne.

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  4. I'd like to have something better to say than good job, but I don't, so "good job!"

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  5. That is wonderful. You are making a difference, and that's all that matters. Congrats, Lynne!

    ReplyDelete

Please know that if you comment and I don't respond, it's not because I don't love you. It's because I don't have wifi, but I do have a bad memory.

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