Are you the type of person who shies from challenges or head-on with them? I’m the latter type. I’ve come across many obstacles in my life since I was a little girl, but I was able to overcome one challenge at a time.
I was a timid person until the last decade. I still remember feeling intimidated in a large Vietnamese crowd at a social gathering years ago. I asked myself why I was there in the first place. It made me feel more lost and lonely than ever! No matter how annoying the voices in my head telling me that I did not belong in a large group of people, I did not listen to them. My life would have been so sad and depressed for hiding in a tiny shell. Slowly, I got myself out of the comfort zone and faced the world. It was not as bad or scary as I thought. There are good and not so good people. There are friendly and unfriendly ones. There are generous and selfish. So many different types of people. I have made a few good friends only due to no time outside of work.
In 2011, an administrative deputy from work told me to join Toastmaster club after listening to me making several presentations in front of my co-workers and administration (Toastmaster is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of promoting communication, public speaking and leadership skills. Currently, there are over 300,000 active members). Shortly after, I searched online and found a club twelve miles from my home which holds meetings every Sunday evening. When I was asked to speak in front of a group of perfect strangers for the first time, I was a nervous rat! My heart must have beaten 1000 times a minute. I could not answer an impromptu speech longer than a minute, but it seemed like an eternity! After that night, I made an effort to come to the club every Sunday for two years consecutively. With a determination of becoming the best speaker I could be, I got a couple trophies for winning the speech contest and evaluation outside of my club in 2011-2012. I knew then speaking was my passion besides writing. I took myself off from the club because I wanted to focus on learning how to write a memoir. However, doubt and fear took the best of me. It took me several years to be complete two books.
Coming back to Toastmaster this time, I’m determined to stay around for as long as possible.
Tonight, I’m happy to accept the nomination for becoming a president of my Toastmaster club and will be voted in next Monday (The president of the club has just resigned for a personal reason). When she announced to us via email and asked if anyone wanted to take her place. I didn’t consider for it even a second. First, I’ve only been in the club for three months. Second, I’m quite busy with my professional and personal life. But no one stepped in after a week of the announcement. A couple of days ago, I received an email from our longtime member since 1973. He asked me to consider the position. He said to think about it for a little while and hope to hear a positive answer from me. I thought about it for almost a day: yes, no, yes, no. Instead of answering him yes or no the next morning, I asked him what the position entails, and if he has asked the club officials about this. After speaking to the club president this morning, I decided to take it. I know it is going to be a challenge for me because I have a lot on my plate now. However, with careful planning, organizing and prioritizing my work, I believe I can handle it. Also, I have great confidence in my club officers and members who will make this transition easy for me.
I am happy and truly grateful for this opportunity. Thank You!
November 9, 2018