Own Your Problems – This I Believe

Alan Rodriguez

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Everyone has their own weaknesses that they are not proud of, but it is their decision if they are going to prevail from it or let it hold them back. Since I was little I had an aberration. What I would do to communicate with my parents was point at objects, or say something and it would sound wrong. They found this strange, so they took me to a therapist to find out what was wrong with my vocabulary. That’s when they found out I had a stutter. Even though this was a big problem for me, I did not let this stop me from becoming who I am today. I believe someone should not be nervous or scared because of an abnormality they have.

I have always been the kid that takes forever to read a passage when called on. In my 8th grade English class we read The Outsiders all together, and whoever read last picked the next reader. I prayed to get through class without having to read at all, but everyone knows the way these things go. Whenever one of your closest friends is picked, you are going to be picked next because they don’t know anyone else. When I was up to read I was shaking and sweating. It probably took about 10 minutes to read, but I was glad that it was finally over. I felt as if everyone was giving me a terrible countenance; I was totally embarrassed. I remember saying to myself, “Why can’t you talk, you sound so stupid.” This burden made me feel ignominious, and made me worry about what others thought about me constantly.

I am still afraid of speaking in front of a crowd to this day. When I found out I had to read this assignment out loud in front of the class my stomach dropped. I want to have a state of mind where I do not have to fear being judged. I hope that everyone wants to feel the same way, because no one wants to feel that they are being criticized for a problem they can not fix. There are many reasons as to why people don’t like to speak in front of others and that is okay. The only way to get out this dilemma is by receiving support from others and not being afraid of who you are.
I have been able to control my speech impediment over the years, and I have become more comfortable when around people. This still does not mean anyone has the right to make fun of someone for something that they have no power over. We all have something we are not comfortable with, it’s just a matter of if we are going to let it haunt us.

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