Changing Perspective My Personal Story
Here's how I changed my perspective—and changed my life! Toastmasters has given me a different perspective on how things can be rather than how I think they are. This has been a sea change for me.
I spent 20 years in the Submarine Service. Submarine Service is a largely procedural and process-driven environment. As submariners we were creative and curious, but always within the boundaries of keeping everyone safe.
When I first became a club officer in 2016, the person leaving the role gave me 20 minutes to learn the ropes while she went off the grid for 5 weeks. Every role I commit to I take seriously. While I knew that people in my club would help me, I also believe that if it is to be, it’s up to me. So instead of signing up for one club officer training, I signed up for five training sessions, thinking that hearing five different approaches would give me well-rounded knowledge. It did.
At my first District conference I attended a breakout session with Gina Grahame. Gina Grahame won our District Conference and made it all the way to the World Championship of Public Speaking. Her life story made anything I have are dealt with in my life seem like a walk in the park. Gina transitioned from a man to a woman. She told us about the pain she endured until she found the strength to follow her truth. After hearing her story, I was inspired to find the strength to overcome my own emotional pain that had held me back many years. It also dawned on me that Toastmasters could be a powerful platform for self-healing, and I went after it.
That one session changed my life. It made me realize there will always be others who have traveled a more difficult road than I have. Thank you Gina. You gave me the courage to finally face certain experiences that have haunted me throughout my life. Your session also made me realize what Toastmasters represents and the power of what it can do to improve one’s life. After that session I decided to go all out and make Toastmasters a defining part of my life.
I now belong to six Toastmaster clubs—Plane Talk, Evening Stars (Advanced Club), Point of Order (Parliamentary Procedure), Global San Francisco, San Francisco Downtown, and Pacific Rim. I joined Downtown and Pacific Rim after serving as their club coach. I enjoy each club for the unique character each embodies.
I’ve served as Vice President of Education 5 times (5 different clubs) and President of Plane Talk. On the District level I’ve been a Pathways Guide, Logistics Manager, Area E-5 Director and Division E Director. I chose downtown San Francisco because it is much more accessible from public transportation, and because it is where the greatest need is, and the greatest opportunity.
Now in 2020, I’m Candidate for Program Quality Director.