Good evening everyone. I want to apologize for what was once again an inadvertant slip of my fingers...don't you hate it when that happens?
That being said, I wanted to use this edition of the blog to make an interesting observation. Ever since I have joined the NSA, I have been an outspoken advocate and will continue to do so, that it is all about attitude and how you view things. Last night, as I was online after my mom (for the hundredth time) said I needed to go out and date LOL, I was reading the New York Craigslist site, just perusing the items on there (and it's a fun site to check out), I saw a personal ad that was posted by a woman in Manhattan-and all I could focus was on the last line: "If you hate women who have kids, don't waste my time and yours, please leave me alone!"
Now, upon reading that, my first inclination was to feel sad for her if that's how she feels. This is a free country, and we're allowed to think and feel how we want. But even more so than that, this person has an unhealthy attitude, and the way she approaches it is frightening-she may think she's doing the right thing, but all she is doing is scaring off anyone who would potentially want to get to know her-it's the same thing with being a person who stutters. It's about HOW you view yourself!
We, as teammates and people who stutter, have the desire to alter ourselves, whether it's for better or worse. I used to think for the longest time I was a victim of circumstance-after all, some are born lucky, others just happen to be at the right place at the right time. In high school and in college, I would often keep to myself. Despite the refrains of hearing "College will be so much different," it wasn't. I didn't realize until too late that until I joined the National Stuttering Association, I could say what I wanted to and not feel ostracized for it. The human self is a very powerful thing. I don't want to use the power to put myself down anymore. It isn't a pleasant experience. Sometimes I'd walk into a movie theater on a Saturday night after struggling to say the name of the movie, and in essence, my whole night was ruined. I don't feel that way anymore. The world is not always a tolerant place for those who think they are different. I am not a freak. I just happen to stutter and do so proudly. Confidence is a sexy turn-on, in so many ways. And sometimes it does start with looking in the mirror.
I know it can be scary. Because we are our worst enemies. If you have the chance, do yourself a favor and listen to the song "Don't Let Me Get Me" by Pink. We are all originals, and sure, we stutter, some of my teammates may do so on different words. But I am not going to let me get me. I like who I am. I like that I can say my thoughts and the world is going to hear me.
And as for that woman who posted the ad, and inspired this blog, I want to say one thing: I hope that you do realize that if you have a good attitude, you will find what you are looking for. I know I found what I did, thanks to the National Stuttering Association.
My name is Steven Kaufman, and I am a person who stutters. Until next time, stand up and be counted. Make your voice heard.