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Look ma' Im a beautiful butterfly

I'm not much for public speaking. I've never been that kid in speech that sat at the back pale and stuttering but it certainly has never been anything I have sought out. Most of my experience has been at meetings where I have had to present something I have been working on for months so a quick overview to update everyone else has been well not to bad.

Then today was graduation day. I've been doing this beacon program at church and at our graduation we each had to go up and say a little ditty only 2-5minutes about what the program meant for us.

FUCK

This isn't talking about spreadsheets or cell markers...this was personal...feelings...in front of a bunch of people most of which don't even know my middle name. The worst part is, I actually had something to say. Beacons has changed my life, things I have pushed aside after my failed relationship got drudged up. My fears, expectations and other peoples expectations of me came into focus.

I procrastinated and sat down to write what I was going to say literally 1hour before I had to leave. So here it is the new and improved Ava Mazur:

When Pastor Nancy brought out her information packets to potential beacons I think she should have put in big bold letters on the front page: THIS WILL TEACH YOU THE MEANING OF LIFE. Well maybe that was a little too much pressure for her, but throughout our assignments and meetings I have learned the meaning of mine. Surprisingly enough to me it has nothing to do with material items of what a stranger MIGHT think of me while passing him or her on the street but rather it is about giving the gift of myself and learning to be truly thankful for all I receive.

My path through the beacon program has been nothing short of a whirl-whin. I am stubborn and generally self-assured at least outwardly but the realization that what I deemed my weaknesses are actually my strengths has soothed my soul which I have quite frankly been neglecting for at least the last decade of my life.

I stand before you saying my job, my house and my bank balance are not important. The things that give me worth in my are:

  • Best friends that always return my calls
  • A mother and father who love me and tell me often
  • The hope of being able to say that to my own child(ren) someday
  • Being trusted by others to come to me with their problems
  • To appreciate people and life
  • And to say thank you out loud
I will not be a spectator. I want to make a difference, I want to matter. And I do.

Since starting the beacon program I have learned how to forgive and to be thankful for experiences even the bad ones:
  • I have silently said a prayer or a man who's family wasn't there to visit him on his last day on earth...he gave me the gift of knowing you are truly never alone
  • I have visited a co-worker who entered a hospital for addiction...she gave me the gift of trust
  • I have lost a high school friend who died of a heart attack at the age of only 26...he gave me the gift of living today
  • I've been to a friend's father's funeral; this gave me the gift of knowing it is best to say things today instead of waiting for the "right time" because the right moment may not present itself until its too late
  • I've been on the other end of a phone call from a friend who was doing fine on the outside but floundering withing...he gave me the gift of returning a favor.
My life isn't perfect and I wold suspect no one here tonight would argue theirs is any different. But in the imperfections and the surprises light shines. The light of hope, love and spirit.

I would like to share a quote from a song by Alanis Morissette, "I have been running so sweaty my whole life, Urgent for the finish line. And I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever incomplete."

Beacon's has taught me how to feel this RAPTURE...incompleteness has a beauty onto itself and it is the beauty of an unexpected journey.

Photo by Tawheed Manzoor

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  • Anonymous Breathe With Me says so:
    9:28 AM  

    Wow Ava, that speech gave me chills. Makes you really stop and think!! Thanks for sharing this. I've been wallowing in my own pity for a little while now and you've given me something else to think about. :D top

  • Anonymous alice says so:
    6:34 PM  

    normally id make fun of you for giving a speech, but it was very eloquent and thoughtful (i didn't even puke once!)

    call me i have a quasi-funny story and since i dont blog i have to tell this stories over the phone. top