Thursday, October 21, 2004

I am a Walking Contradiction.

I fell in love with public speaking when I was in college. I discovered that I had an ability to transform myself whenever I stood up in front of a group of people. I don't know exactly what it is. The rush of adrenaline...increased blood pressure....emotional horsepower kicking in. Somehow, I become different. More confident. Effervescent. Completely secure in my skin.

I have presented to groups of 300. I have discussed market strategy to executive teams during operational reviews, which included the likes of Bill Reilly. I participate in budget reviews with divisional CFOs and CEOs. And I'm a deejay on a weekly radio program.

The point that I am trying to make is that I am no shrinking violet when it comes to public speaking.

So imagine the depth of my self-loathing because I cannot and will not attend evening soirees with my husband when they include his clients or the area's interior designers. I am terrible at making idle chit chat and feel ill if I am compelled to do so. I don't fit in with anyone who subscribes to elitism, and I am prone to feeling less than the other person right there in the moment. It doesn't help that I am the size of a Rotunda and extremely self conscious that people are looking at me and wondering how in the world I ended up with my husband. "Did he really choose to marry a Full-Figured Gal?" Seeing the disbelief and disappointment in their eyes causes my heart to feel as though it's being squeezed like a wet sponge. I typically end the evening not liking the people I've met and not liking myself. Who needs that kind of torture?

Sadly, my husband really wants me to attend these events with him. There is a party tomorrow night, and I have already put him on notice that he will be attending by himself. Even if I say "yes" and attempt to go, I will become physically sick one hour before the event because I can't handle it. Just as my body kicks in extra mojo whenever I have to present to a workgroup....I have the opposite reaction when I am plunked into a social scene. My emotions literally implode.

I know that I am a disappointment. I know that my husband doesn't understand. This issue is my Achilles Heel and I yearn to discover why there is a lesson in this for me. "What you resist, persists."

What have I failed to learn that has kept me stuck behind this emotional obstacle? Will it prove to be bigger and stronger than I am...for the rest of my life?