Part of the name of my blog is ‘Finding my Voice’. It seemed appropriate at the time I started the blog, as I had found a new tool of expression through writing that opened up an exciting world of discovery for me. I think each of us has a voice that longs to be heard, needs to be heard. I’ve worked hard at honing my voice, writing almost every day for over two years now, and I always ask myself- am I being sincere, am I being honest? Those two things are the cornerstone of authenticity, and the foundation of any voice.
How do we sort through the fog of our different roles in life to know what our true voice, our true self, is? I know for a long time, I was trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be; my mother, my first husband, my teachers. There is such a strong drive in me to please people, to be what I think they want me to be. But that is rarely being true to yourself. We all have different personas- our professional self, our friend self, our alone self, our spiritual self, etc. So many different aspects that require a different energy from us, and perhaps a different level of honesty. It has been interesting to examine how I change in each persona. For example, as a teacher I am more dignified, maternal, confident, gentle (the majority of the time), funny…Mary Poppins to a tee. As a performer I am serious, focused, confident…an actress who does my best to become what the music calls for. As a friend, I am goofy, silly, sincere, loyal, trusting. When I am with my husband, I think I am perhaps my truest self of all, completely at ease, silly, introspective, loving, gentle, vulnerable. As a writer, honesty is my first hallmark. I open my heart and mind to share what I am feeling, what I have experienced, and I hope and pray that that comes through to the reader. I hope by doing so, I can help someone know they are not alone, make them smile, or make them think. I hope that my voice comes across as positive, hopeful, and loving.
What does this all mean when it comes to my ‘voice’, though? All of the various parts of me, my roles in life, come together to create the complete person. We are all a mixture of so many things, both good and not-so-good. I have noticed that my voice has changed and can see many reasons for that; I have taken a hard look at myself in the proverbial mirror and worked to face and deal with my issues, to build confidence. I have written honestly about experiences and feelings, sharing openly. I have found a wonderful life partner who encourages me to be myself- whatever that is. Another important factor is the gift of age; the passing of years brings with it self-acceptance and knowledge. As I age, the layers of self-doubt peel away, and I feel more confidant being my authentic self instead of being what I think society expects of me. I am more comfortable in my skin, more genuine.
In the end, it boils down to staying true to yourself- your innermost self that is there in the dark of night. The one that is your moral compass, your beacon. And, I think that while there is a core to our voice that remains constant, a part of our voice is malleable, able to adjust and change as we grow as human beings, and as our roles in life dictate. I like that idea…I want to always be open to growth and change, as long as I stay true to who I am in my core. When I am honest in my words and actions, then I have found my voice and it will reflect who I am without fail.