Monday, July 1, 2013

#100stutterProject and #NSAinAZ13

The Westin Kierland in Scotsdale, AZ. The site of NSA 2013.

This week I leave for the National Stuttering Association Annual Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. Not only will I be presenting a workshop on #100stutterProject, but I’ll have the opportunity to experience workshops myself, meet and learn from incredible people and spend a week dodging record high’s in temperature and the inevitable sunburn. I wanted to try and paint a picture for my friends and family of just how powerful these couple days are for myself those who attend.
I wish that everyone could experience the NSA conference.

Imagine a place where all insecurities, all fears and all hesitancy to be completely you are gone. Completely gone.

 Hard to imagine, I know. I didn’t know this type of environment existed until I drove the 3 hours from Detroit to Cleveland four years ago for my first conference.  People of all types gather here with only one goal in mind, to offer each other support. It doesn’t matter if one is a person who stutters, a sibling, spouse, student or a curious wanderer who stops in, the reach of support and welcoming extend far beyond only those with fluency challenges. For these few days, the subliminal pressures to be “normal” or “cool” are gone, and everyone is encouraged to be themselves, share and learn from each other and have an incredible week. It really isn’t only a conference for those who stutter, but a conference for all.

On Thursday afternoon, the 4th of July, I’ll have an opportunity to present the #100stutterProject and share my experiences throughout this process. I plan on emphasizing just how incredible the support was from friends, family, co-workers and media. I still can’t thank you all enough for everything along the way. The #100stutterProject grew larger than I ever imagined, and I’m grateful to have a chance to share my thoughts and ideas with others.

I’ll be sure to recap my experiences this week along with the time since the 100 days has commenced. If I won’t be seeing you this week in Arizona, I urge you to spend this week supporting each other, being completely yourself and having a great holiday with family and friends.

 I know I will. #NSAinAZ13