Ever since I can remember I used to fret with anxiety at having to speak in public, even reading out loud in class was a nightmare for me. I suffered this with social silent shame that no one else ever really knew about. In the late nineties I joined Toastmasters, I had been an immigrant here in the states for 10 years I was out of work and needed to present myself with a better image. I attended Toastmasters for 5 years and improved enough to help with interviews and get a job. I also remember my dysfunctional siblings coerced me into giving two eulogies at my father’s funeral. I remember the stress at father’s funeral that was compounded by the tons of speech preparation that kept me awake for two nights. I no longer fretted when having to speak in public. I had underlying fear, but had a plan to prepare even at one minute’s notice. One upcoming and future speech did bother me though, the retirement one that I had to give when leaving work for the last time; I dreaded it for some unknown reason. So my retirement day came unexpectedly and with no ceremony or farewell, I was herded with others and walked off the premises in a massive lay off. No speech! The moral of my story is: “If you fret enough and prepare enough for long enough for something it may never happen”.