To share my voice.
As a mediator, I quieted my voice to make peace for others in hopes of making a healthier environment for my loved ones to feel safe. When my parents divorced, I quieted my voice for my dad since he didn’t have emotional support from anyone. I was his ‘sounding board,’ and I grew from 8 to 18 in a span of weeks helping him run his household.
I quieted my voice for the sake of my friends when they wanted to be mean to a girl I knew was standoffish because I knew she was suffering at home. For most of my life, I learned to quiet my voice, not make waves or be a bother, and in doing so, I lost myself over time.
When I found out about my husband’s demon, I quieted my voice trying to work through our problems.
When I had children, I quieted my voice to be a better parent to be able to listen to them and make sure they felt heard.
The wisest people listen more than they speak, but what good is their wisdom if they never express it?
I don’t claim to be a wise person, but I’ve lived through some unique experiences. Putting my stories on paper helps to process both trauma and build gratitude for the marvelous things in life. It would be impossible to appreciate the good in life if you did not also experience the storms.
I revolve to share my vulnerabilities more, express love and write and make bad poetry and art. To create is to free the soul, and I kept mine trapped for too long attending to my duties as a wife, mother, daughter, Soldier, worker. This year, I resolve to immerse myself in my art.
I resolve to share my voice because it may encourage others to do the same. In life, how you live is the greatest example for your children, coworkers, friends. It’s not hiding behind the escapism of TV shows, games, or gossip.
I resolve to be kinder to myself and let my inner voice be one that is caring for myself as a child, to quell the negative thoughts and feelings of self-hatred and inadequacy.
I’m at an age in my life where the beliefs I once held are no longer true to the person I am. The limiting beliefs of my childhood and the rigidity of the institutions I work for frustrate me. The roles of my gender are totally redefined on a daily basis as women break the ceiling for what they once were able to achieve. Really, there are no limits except the ones we impose on ourselves, and it’s time to let them go.
So how does one speak their voice today?
The universe provides answers if you are open to finding them. It’s mostly psychology and confirmation bias, you will find what you are seeking. The Law of Attraction, what you put out will come back. That’s how I found this opportunity.
There are so many platforms, opportunities, programs, and media outlets to help a person find their voice. Social media like Pinterest and Instagram help artists share their work. Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to keep in contact with coworkers, friends, and families. There are no barriers to what media you may to publish in. YouTube allows us to share video, and the web itself is a vehicle for sharing one’s voice and story.
It’s not counting content sharing companies like Medium, Vocal, and various other communities and storytelling platforms. The options are endless and almost daunting and limitless. All we have to do is create, and hopefully, find an audience that resonates with what we express.
Since the start of the new year, I enrolled in a Horror Course with AutoCrit, a community of like-minded people who love the horror genre. I joined Vocal because I like the contest approach with deadlines. While I am intrinsically motivated, I will lag indefinitely on my personal projects. Contests help add a restriction to the time I have to create a piece of work, and even if it’s not completed in my vision, it is at least finished.
More importantly, I resolve to be courageous enough to share my art. The path to learning is often by failure and growth only happens through the pain. People are happier when they confront things that scare them, and sharing my point of view is what has held me from being my most authentic self.
There are six ways I plan to share my voice during this next year.
1. Pick a few platforms and master them.
With opportunities everywhere, it can easily get overwhelming trying to figure out what to focus on. I plan to stick to Vocal and my website for my writing projects.
2. Set Deadlines and stick to them.
A challenge for the procrastinator that I am, but every extended deadline is a broken promise to myself. It’s the fastest way to kill your self-confidence.
3. Be consistent, and publish weekly.
Be it a blog post, entering a contest, or sharing my art with friends and family, I need to share my work weekly.
4. Write daily, even when tired or not in the mood.
Writing is like exercise. The more you do it, the better it gets. I know I am the type of person that has to write daily. Once in motion, you stay in motion. Once in rest, you stay at rest.
5. Create every day.
Write bad poetry, work on stories, memoirs, flash fiction, or even drawing and illustrating my ideas. As long as I make progress daily, I am doing better than the day before.
6. Enjoy one day at a time.
The act of creation brings many mixed emotions, but the one I feel the most is joy.