Originally posted 8-31-14
After writing yesterday’s blogpost I got called on the carpet about not helping anyone. Well, the people-pleaser that I am, I just HAD TO address that.
If you will recall, I wrote about being a people-pleaser, being a perfectionist and I suppose there was a little “procrastination” thrown in the mix. Well, I honestly don’t want to stay there. I want to grow and become a better writer. And if you are in the same boat as I am, you will not want to stay stagnant as a a writer either. So this is my attempt at helping myself as well as you (only because I am a little selfish that way).
When I turned forty, MANY years ago, something happened to me. For some reason the filter I had on my tongue just disappeared. I began spouting off things that eventually led to a series of events that I now regret. I had been so excited at the time because I felt as if I could finally speak my mind and actually get away with it. I felt liberated. I mean, I had always looked up to older generations and wanted to have the courage to say what was on my mind. I was so excited to have finally have found “my voice.”
Years passed and I hurt so many people in the wake of my life. They left me, said cruel things, and abandoned me to my selfish ways. I understand now that they were merely responding to the things that I said, but at the time I honestly believed that they were trying to curtail “my voice.” and since I had discovered it, I felt it as much a part of me as it should have always been. I began a blog. I expressed my feeling of hurt and frustration at the world around me, not considering anything but the fact that I was now finally able to express myself.
Then I met a man.
This man, in spite of the fact that I continued to express my thoughts and opinions, did not retaliate. (Well, he did a little, but that was for his own protection.) He assured me that he would always give me the freedom to use “my voice.” BUT something he did changed EVERYTHING! He began to show me that what I had been doing for years was NOT using my voice but merely speaking my mind. He showed me that there was a distinct difference. The difference was this….drumroll, please….
Using my voice meant taking all of me, the past experiences, the doubts, the fears, the memories, the dreams, the highs and lows, and recognizing that nobody in the world had that unique combination. These things made me who I was. And filtering what I said through those experiences was actually “my voice.”
WOW! What a revelation! Did you get that? We are each unique. We each have a voice and it has NOTHING to do with age or having the ability to speak your mind. When the skill of using one’s voice is honed, we will not deliberately hurt others haphazardly. We will be able to use the power of our words, filtered through everything, and find something beautiful to say.
So, my writer friends…Do you see what your voice is? Do you see how there will never be another person in the world who writes exactly like you do? You are unique! Don’t do what I did and try to imitate those famous authors who seem to sneeze out a novel every year. They may be a good writer, but they had discovered their voice a long time ago and it took them years to get to where they are today. Do you really want to be just like them? Do you want to go through everything they had to go through to get where they are? It took me almost fifty years to get where I am, I have no intention of starting over. I want to start now!
So, while I sit here, attempting to convey a very strong message, I will slowly figure out my venue for expressing the beauty that I know is within me. I sit here and raise my coffee cup to all of you who will joint me in the pursuit of not just finding, but using, your voice!
Although I found that man that helped me find my voice, I have a hard time listening to him. Nonetheless, I press on, hoping and praying that one day I will be able to actually be at a place where I am comfortable expressing myself with fear of repercussion.
Until next time,