This past weekend, the Louis V. Hencken chapter of NRHH held its Spring Leadership Conference. During the third program session on Saturday, I facilitated a program called “Find Your Voice, Write Your Story.” Inspired by notions already discussed in this young weblog, the presentation essentially revolved around the idea that a leader must know her or his voice before writing a story. Baxter-Magolda’s Theory of Self-Authorship provided the framework, and I used the “i am” activity from the previous post. Something, however, seemed to be missing. The morning of the conference, in a moment of inspiration, I decided to include an influential piece of my story (and influence on my voice): my weight journey. The following slide helped illustrate that moment:
When the time came to share the story, I found myself feeling the side effects of vulnerability — clammy hands, shaky voice, pumping heart — but I pressed onward and shared as bravely as I could. Afterwards, after revealing the photo on the right of the slide, the students in the room applauded my progress. In the moments that followed, the students in the room opened their hearts with tremendous courage and shared pieces of their story that greatly impacted the message of the presentation. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my graduate journey to date.
Today, during some reflection on the program, I decided to share that slide of the presentation. The response has been tremendously kind and supportive, reminding me to be grateful that I was ever able to take this step. As such, I am yet again setting out to write and share this piece of my story. I hope that I can do it justice.