My hands are shaking and my forehead is sweating. I feel like a preacher in the Baptist church. I need my hand towel to wipe the sweat from my brow. They can’t tell I am nervous. Well, maybe the people sitting in the front row can. Now my hands are shaking as I adjust the microphone. I can do this. Throwing the speech away may not have been the smartest idea. Oh well here goes.
My story isn’t one that is special. Although I think that it would make a great reality tv show. You know what they say about picturing people in their underwear. Not the best advice either at this time.
Do they really want to hear me talk? Or do they want to ask me questions? Just thinking that they used the words motivational speaker and Brooke Copher in the same sentence may have been a mistake.
When I began my story. One day on East Outer Drive in Detroit, Michigan, my confidence began to grow. I was giving away details from my memoir. But that didn’t matter. People were listening.
I spoke from the heart and I prayed that God would give me wisdom. I paused so that I could answer questions. This was the best part. It gave parents and caregivers the chance to ask intimate details about autism, my divorce, and life after divorce. I was only supposed to speak on autism but that rarely ever happens. By the time I am done. I also talked about wine, performed a quick stand up comedy routine and Jesus.
What if they are judging me? Well, it was too late. I had opened a can of worms and my secrets were out. Some women shed tears. Surprisingly, I didn’t cry. Maybe because the tears of my divorce are over. The tears of autism still manage to find a way to break me down.
If this audience took anything away from my speech. I wanted them to know that they should never follow someone else’s path. All of our situations and circumstances are different. We don’t need to follow the trail that someone has already paved for us. Be a pioneer and a trailblazer. Create your own road map, and trail.
As I spoke to the audience many thoughts ran through my mind. Six years ago I would have never let anyone know the struggles that I was facing. Now I am sharing my story with all that will listen. Will I touch 1,000 people? My goal is to only touch one.
If my words can inspire, and encourage one person to stand on faith despite their situation. Then I have done what I have set out to do by sharing my testimony.
It is easier for me to speak about my situation with others. I am no longer ashamed or embarrassed of what I have endured. Instead I am sharing my challenges with others to offer a sense of hope.
When I think about the things that should have killed me or broken me. I look at myself in the mirror and say to myself. “ I fell apart, but I survived. And you will survive too.