Written by Liam
Yesterday I was having a conversation with my housemate about truths and people’s personal truths. The premise of this conversation developed from a show she went to see on Saturday night, Peter Gynt. The conversation centered around the question of “Does a person exist if the truth they have developed for themselves, their identity, is a lie?”
This took my mind back to last week in the Lemele stuttering camp. A week of beautiful people, emotional speeches and self-reflection. The stuttering aspect of the camp was simply a precondition for entry, once there it was not noteworthy, we all stammered.
The specific moment that sprung to mind was a conversation with one of the leaders, who lovingly told me he liked how I “Worked the room”. By this, he meant he liked how I was able to flitter between different groups of people and laugh and enjoy my time with all of them equally.
What that leader described that they admired in me is something I do not see in myself, this was not the truth I saw myself holding.
This comes after I had opened up earlier in the week about how I had been recently avoiding social situations, especially with people I don’t really know because they made me nervous. I had recently avoided a friend’s housewarming party due to the fact I would only know her and none of the other partygoers, that made me anxious.
This amazing group of people had welcomed me into their little European Union (As a Brit this is something I very much appreciate). Somehow through their understanding and kindness, they had made me feel more comfortable than I have felt for years. The growth that I saw and felt in myself during that week is incomprehensible to me. I felt my truth for that week was better than the one I had been living back at home for a long time. A week on and I find myself feeding on that truth and clinging onto to it to incorporate it into my life.
During the most emotional part of the week, the open mic session, I was shamefully too much of a coward to address the group and say what I wanted to. I justified this to myself as not having the emotional intelligence or eloquence to match the tone of the evening. However, these were just poor excuses as I know everyone there, no matter how much I would have changed the tone of the night, would have said kind words. If I could have mustered the courage, I would have wanted to say something like the following:
“I’m not sure I can add anything in terms of emotion to this evening. However, I do just need to impart my deepest gratitude to you all.
You have each contributed to creating a new truth for me, which in turn has made me feel like a new, better person.
Confidence is something I have always struggled with, but this is not the case here. Here I feel the freedom to come talk to any of you. I can be the nerdy, computer geek that I am. I can flick between having a conversation about Brexit and the current political state one minute to joking about everything and everything the next.
I can only hope to take this new bound of confidence into the real world with me now that this new, more accurate, truth has been found. I am one hundred percent that I will fail in taking this better me into the world. However, I am also sure that I will take a small amount of it with me, and just the small amount of the confidence that everyone has given to me will make life immeasurably better.
Thank you all.”