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I attended my first Toastmasters session last night and it really felt like home.  There were amazing people there.  Individuals with incredible personal stories and dreams, just like mine.

A few days ago, I wrote about the loud resistance which on occasion rises to stop me, and wants to keep me stagnant.   About the many fears and the persistent screams that dwell deep within my mind.  They were shrieking about this particular evening.

There were so many reasons not to go.  You don’t know anyone.  It’s all an illusion and so superficial.  You are good enough as a public speaker.  We can certainly do something better with our time.  What is the point?  What are you going to gain from this?  Why bother?

Moreover, I got lost.  I went to the wrong location.  In the past, this was the most perfect time to quit and call it a day, but I decided to arrive a touch late.  I found the right location and that had made all the difference.

I want to speak about a woman who I met there.

She was a bit shy and did not want to speak publically, but something irked her to go up and deliver an impromptu dissertation on a random quote she was presented by the quote-master.

What I remember most about her genuine and beautiful talk is the glimpse she offered us as to who she was.  She is terrified of speaking.  She told us that she is an interpreter by profession, and all day, she only speaks for other people.  She professed that it is totally different when you dare to speak for yourself.

Only.

I was listening to her from a distance.  I was trying to process what she was saying, but I saw things differently.

The next time I see her, I will have to propose an alternative idea as to what her role is as an interpreter.  She not only speaks for her clients.  She very much speaks for herself in the process. 

It is no small feat that she has mastered two very demanding and unique languages.  Mastered them so efficiently and confidently that she can listen to a strange immigrant explain themselves in the comfort of their own language, and in a matter of seconds (seconds), she sorts through all the equivocally available words, and decides in a flash, which word best fits the idea she purports to others.

It’s like black magic. 

It is an incredible undertaking. 

There is far more going on here than someone who only speaks for other people.  From a distance, it seems clear that this is a woman who speak for and more importantly with others.  She is always very much a part of the conversation.  Never on the outside of it.

It is amazing what you can see and hear from a distance.

It is important to find ourselves on the outside. 

This is an evening that almost didn’t happen, and these were nothing but a few strangers whom I have never met before, but who had such tremendous impact on my soul.

We need to silence the resistance.

We need to learn to see and listen from a distance.

If only.