Right now, I am outside the Planters Den of Sugarland Hotel, quite earlier than usual. Of course i still have my favorite cup of cappuccino at the Twist plus a mouth-watering cheesecake. Earlier because the supposed 6th regular meeting of the Riverside Toastmasters Club have only me, Tm's Lorna and Mario in attendance.
I was the first to arrive in the room with only few lights on. There was no sound system yet. I did not bother to change anything in the room. I just sat in one of the chairs in front since I am supposed to be the toastmaster of the evening. When TM Mario arrived, we exchanged greetings, and noticed that the room is dim-lit. He made a remark and I immediately answered it meant something. He did not bother reply on what i have just said. Maybe he wasn't able to hear it. He switched on the lights. When he asked where are the others, I flawlessly enumerated their own businesses in fact I perfectly memorized all the reasons there are. Being the jokemaster of the club, he fearlessly said, dont they like me? At the back of my mind, I thought, maybe it is me whom they dont like. Whatever it is, as forecasted, only TM Lorna arrived after us but we still managed to have a heart-warming conversation, giggles, and laughter.
In 2007, I started my toastmaster journey. Unlike the normal way of things, I wasn't invited to become a guest. It was me who invited myself to toastmasters. Of course, I am very thankful to google for it gave me the number of the alluring CTM Emily Go-Villanueva. When I texted her how can I join a toastmasters club, without a downtime, she asked me what day would I be available. Saturday it is, so she gave me the cell nos of CTM Mary Lecias, who at that time was the Vice-President for Education and TM Lorna as the President. I was very eager to attend my first meeting but it was cancelled due to a very low attendance. My excitement for the second meeting still equals that of my first but unluckily we did not have a room for the meeting so we had to settle at the Twist where other people eat, discuss, drink, and whisper sweet-nothings.
It's been more than 2 years, and what a journey it has been. Contests, win or loose, are always rewarding. It may be a confirmation where do I stand among the others but more than that is the fact that I have half-won the battle by conquering myself. As one of the table topics quotation states, "The greatest battle is not fought in the world's battlefields but in the hearts of men as they fight against fear." Trophies shouldn't be vehicle or medium to flaunt and brag but rather a reminder of a great responsibility in helping other toastmasters hone their speaking skills.
Leadership, the not-so-famous benefit, in the eyes of non-toastmasters, is one thing that I have developed. I have learned to keep my promise in all roles that I have committed myself in-that's integrity. I have learned to adjust to all eclectic persona there are in the organization. I have learned to become more competent because I am in the midst of competent people. As it is in the desiderata, the only way to grow is to be with people better than you are.
Now, counting the past years, i am still that person very eager to become a toastmaster. How can I not be still, when I always have fun while learning life's lessons.
I would cease to be a toastmaster when the time comes that I am not capable of breathing.