Stuttering Small Business

(The nice thing about close friends is that they remind you that you haven’t posted in a month … so no, I didn’t actually push publish on this post as I thought I had!)

I hope everybody had a lovely holiday. Filled with family time and stuttering. I did! But it wasn’t all that bad. I spent the holidays in Pennsylvania with family and friends. There’s a really nice bike shop there, and despite the cold weather, I brought my bike along for at least a ride or two. (I did two — and they were under an hour each. At least I got out!)

I learned that I’m not the biggest fan of cold weather riding. Temperatures below 50 confound me. You put too much on or not enough. Your top is too warm, and your legs are cold. You go faster which makes more wind and more cold. You go slow, and well, going slow sucks, too.

Back to the bike shop. Small business. Small business Saturday! (but this isn’t directly about that.) I knew that I wanted to ride, but I also knew I didn’t have a long-sleeved jersey or tights to wear. So off to this shop where I had bought kit before. I got the best, most patient help before, and I wanted it again.

I wasn’t disappointed.

The thing about stuttering is that while there’s a “base” of stuttering — just carrying on with our daily lives — there’s often outside influence that … doesn’t exactly help. Pushy sales people. Being unsure of yourself. Feeling rushed.

All this melted away in this store. I could remember to breathe. I could ask questions, and there was just minutes and minutes of patience. Answering questions, pulling things off the shelf and hangers. She wasn’t in a hurry to do something else, and I wanted to take my time and buy the right thing. I thought of questions — and then just asked them. When I was about to make a final decision on something, I said, “is this the only brand for that?” And it turned out no, there was something else, and I tried that on as well, ultimately buying it.

I know every shopping experience won’t be like this. In person or on the phone. But I did want to stop, breathe, and give thanks for this one exchange that made me think less about stuttering and more about getting exactly what I wanted — by communicating.

Rearranging things …

Regular followers will note some changes. I thought I should make it a little easier to navigate and find older posts. I also like that I can see what’s going on with other stuttering bloggers. I updated the About and FAQs slightly. If you have anything that could be added to the FAQs, by all means, let me know. Over the next few days I’ll also be going through the Resources page and adding another page of old blogs that aren’t update any more but still have interesting content on them.

As for stuttering itself, I suppose I’d like to revisit my Thanksgiving post and what I’m thankful for. After being at a new job for just over a month, I’m thankful for working in a very professional environment with respectful people who have never mocked me for my stuttering. I’ve been in quite a few meetings with people I don’t know — in person and on the phone. And they’ve all been patient and understanding.

Thankful for Stuttering – Part 2

Alright, alright. It’s been a few days. Holidays! Turkey! International travel!

But now we’re back at it.

Firstly, here’s a post regarding being thankful for stuttering.

And of course I’m thankful for stuttering because of what it’s made me:

It’s made me more patient: There’s the old saying of treat others how you wish to be treated. Well, when it takes me a while to talk, I would like some patience. So everybody else gets it as well. My thoughts aren’t always well formed (maybe because I’m being covert and substituting like crazy) so I understand when other people are searching for the right way to express their thoughts.

It’s made me more ambitious. There’s two ways of looking at this. Either I’m more ambitious because I’m trying to run away from my stutter — and make people associate my name with my title or success — or that everytime I get a promotion or better job I’ve won the battle against stuttering. I’ve shown that it’s not going to hold me back.

It’s made me a better listener. I like to ask questions. Then I like to listen. The better the questions, the longer the answers might be. And that means I’m not talking as much. Which of course means I’m not stuttering, either.

It’s made me a better writer. I could call someone up and bumble over a question or two or three, or I could write a clear and concise e-mail. I’m pretty good at those now.

It’s made me a voracious reader. This has been true from the start — when I was in elementary school. Maybe it’s because if I read the book I would know all the answers and have more confidence? Maybe if I read the book I would know all the answers and not have to raise my hand to ask a question? Maybe because it didn’t involve talking to other people? The other side to this is a book club — would something like that have put me off with regards to reading? If I had to talk about books from a young age? Probably so …

It’s made me start this blog!

Thankful for Stuttering – Part 1

I’m thankful for:

The barista who stands there patiently with their sharpie while I force out my name
The passport agent who sits there quietly while I force out ‘dates’ as hard as possible
My parents who never said anything negative about my stuttering or that I had to sort it out or be a failure
My friends who never laughed at my stutter
My coworkers who wait while I explain something during a meeting and stumble through it
The person on the other side of the phone who hangs on the line while I stutter out my address
The cashier who doesn’t roll their eyes while I stutter out my phone number
The new people who I meet in the Kingdom at lunch who’ve never commented on my stutter

I could go on.

I’m thankful for all of these people because they show me that stuttering isn’t going to kill me. If I want to talk to someone, I’ll get through it. I’ll make more positive associations with talking than negative ones. I’ll learn that 99 out of 100 people are patient, loving and kind when it comes to listening. And that one person out of a hundred isn’t going to bring down my moment, my afternoon, or my day.

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