My Morning Speech

Would you guess that I get nervous about speaking in public?

Extremely.

Nervous.

But it’s a good kind of nervous – the kind that leaves me with a “high on life feeling” when I am finished.

This morning, I spoke at the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast through School on Wheels.  They wanted someone to explain how the group was developed, what it stands for, upcoming events and how people can get involved. As the Vice President of Membership of SPOKES, I was a perfect fit.

I was early – per usual – early to the event. I walked up to the Toyota car they are raffling off (if anyone donates $100 or more to School on Wheels and / or joins SPOKES – they are entered to win this amazing 2012 Toyota).

It appeared that that someone was in the car when I drove by, so I waved.

It was not a person.

It was a blowup doll, who I later learned is named Daryl.

Raise your hand if you waved at a blowup doll today. 

Yeah – that’s what I thought, just me.

KD spoke before me about the Project Life Mentor Program. She joked that she didn’t come prepared with notes or a written out speech, so she was just going to wing it.

I would be a hot mess if I showed up without notes. If you paid any attention to my tweets this week, I was practicing my speech in the shower, in traffic, during my runs and any other “down time” the week allowed.

Despite her lack of notes, she did an amazing job telling her story about how she got involved with School on Wheels / Project Life.

And then she did it.

She got me super emotional right before it was my turn to speak.

“My mentee has Type 2 Diabetes,” KD said. “So, I work with her to overcome the side effects and implications of the illness. And this is really near and dear to me…because…two weeks ago one of my best friends died from a diabetic coma.”

My throat tightened.

I was fighting my own tears.

I immediately thought of my step-mom …one morning I found her with VERY low blood sugar. My dad had already left for work, so it was up to me to find the glucose shot, mix it correctly and inject it into her. I was terrified that I would do something wrong, but my dad coached me over on the phone….thankfully, her sugars returned to normal and she was fine in a few hours.

Then, I thought of my grandpa- who battled diabetes his entire life. He lost a leg to the disease, and eventually died in his sleep one night.

The rest of her speech was a blur, and before I knew it…my name was being called.

“So, I’d like to welcome up Ashley Seeeb,” Laura said.

A few people laughed because earlier she (and most of the SOW staff) was asking how to pronounce my name.

“And I promised I wouldn’t butcher her name,” Laura added.

“You did great, Laura- thank you for the introduction,” I said. “I am the exact opposite of KD. I was the weirdo who practiced my speech in the shower and car and everywhere in-between…so let’s see how this goes…”

The group laughed and with that I was sharing my story about how I got involved with School on Wheels.

People laughed at my jokes and smiled at my stories.

I tried to make eye contact and smile at people all across the room. My speech teacher would have been proud.

Overall, they seemed very engaged with what I was saying about SPOKES, which is a community outreach group that helps children impacted by homelessness in our city through networking and social events.

My voice felt shaky – and I’m sure a few people noticed that – but I was still trying to overcome the emotions from KD’s speech. I remember thinking – if you start crying, just pretend that you love SPOKES so much it brings you to tears.

I came back to my table and one of the amazing SOW staff members (Sam) said, “Beautiful – you did a great job!”

It was the perfect boast of confidence, and with that- my “high on life” feeling was in full effect.

At the end of the event, I had three people come up and express interest in SPOKES.

Boom.

Success. 

I even got the chance to meet a few of my Twitter friends in “real life” (I’m looking at you, Melissa).

Driving home, I decided to be spontaneous. I plan nearly every second of my day. It’s a bad habit. Sometimes I wish I could just walk out the door- with no where to go and nothing on my mind.

And for the first time in awhile- I had no plans.

So I called up Sarah and Dusty Frey – and we were off to go vinyl shopping for Happy Record Store Day.

Dusty creeping in the background.

I didn’t buy any vinyl records – because we don’t have a record player- but I did get some awesome country music CDs for our DJ business ($1 CDs – check please)! Faith Hill, Toby Keith, Tricia Yearwood and don’t forget my random find – Oasis.

I also found some AWESOME gourmet dog treats for Bandit, shaped like squirrels.

Best dog mom ever.
That’s me.

I came up, snuggled with Bandit and took a nap.

Cuddle bug.

I ended my Saturday evening by having dinner with my family. We had lots of laughs, good food (salad and mini burgers), great brew (Gumball Head) and Starbucks (iced green tea) for dessert.

The Starbucks addiction runs in the family.
Love you, Dad!

I could really get used to this relaxing and going-with-the-flow thing.

Much love,
Ashley

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