|Joel on a visit to Bristol, TN (around 2003 or 2004)|
'Tis always a hassle to begin an essay such as this. Flowery and aloof introductions are not my type, so I thought I'd might as well begin in this manner. So now that this essay is started, I think it's time to get to the point--a difficult choice that arose from a problem in my life. Such occurred in my life at about age 6. At that point it was determined that I stutter. Stuttering, a form of speech impediment, is defined by "blocks" and repetitions of sounds as well as other behavioral and vocal implications. With this impediment, I was posed with a decision: Run from it or live with it.
To run from my speech impediment would be easy for the average person in this situation. I would not associate or communicate with other people, fearing they would not understand and/or mock and make fun of my speech. It would mean I would crawl into a social hole and wallow in self-pity. This would cause me to feel lonely as well as depressed. I would be a sorry excuse for a kid, an entire social and psychological wreck at age 10. Sound fun to you?
On the other hand, I could stand up and deal with this minor disability--which is exactly what it is; minor. I would go into the world and dare it to accept me as I am. Facing fears, possible dangers of getting teased and general uncertainty. I would be much stronger on the back end. I'd be able to face most anything else coming at me, able to seek ways to better my speech itself, able to just be a normal kid. Does that sound a bit better?
|Playing Rail Baron with cousins|
|putting everything he's got into a Steeplechase race! (2013) Photo courtesy of Paul Nesmith|