This past Saturday, July 7, 2018, something I never thought would happen happened: I was mad at myself for being fluent. Weird, right? Whenever I open my mouth to speak I hope for fluency and I always delight when I am fluent, but not that morning. I was in Chicago for the NSA conference and I went to Starbucks for breakfast that morning. That’s sounds weird based on what happened recently. (I’ll give you a second to Google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Now that we are all on the same page, as a proud PWS I planned on going to Starbucks and intentionally stutter my order for two reasons. One, as a show of solidarity. The second being for my self growth. You see, I tried intentionally stuttering once in speech therapy and immediately shut that technique down because of the flood of bad childhood memories that instantly filled my mind. That was four plus years ago and I haven’t tried it since.
One night at dinner, last week, I was talking to a friend about my time in speech therapy and my strong disdain for intentionally stuttering as a technique. Her response was, ”Try it again.” I immediately shot it down, but she insisted because maybe I wasn’t ready then and that maybe I’m ready now. A couple of days after that conversation, I went to Starbucks with the mindset of intentionally stuttering on my order. I saw this experience as my opportunity and I wasn’t going to say no because in the words of Stephen Fishbach, “When opportunity knocks, you have to let him in, because opportunity is a mean dude, and, if you don’t, he might burn down your house or steal your car.” I went up to order my breakfast, a chocolate chip muffin and a glass of milk, and my order came out fluently. Second nature took over and before I could even intentionally stutter my order was in the system. I was aggravated at myself, but vowed to go back on Sunday and intentionally stutter on the same order. I went to Starbucks the next morning with the same results. Fluency took over before I could think about intentionally stuttering.
Maybe the reason for me not intentionally stuttering is that I’m still not ready for it. Perhaps my subconscious knows those two opportunities were not the right opportunities and those days weren’t the right days. However, when the right day and opportunity come I will be ready. I won’t give opportunity another chance to steal my car or another chance for me to grow and become even more confident in my stutter.