FINDING MY VOICE
Finding my own voice, at last
I've been asked many times about why I put my thoughts and my life on display in for other people to read, and I gave my answer to that .
But there is another reason for writing my blog, one I've only just come to recognise and acknowledge. My blog has given me my voice.
People who know me would say that I already had a voice that was loud and clear (sometimes too loud and clear!) and in some ways, they would be right about that.
I am quite vocal and I do enjoy a good discussion/argument/interaction. But at the same time, my voice has been muted by others for most of my life.
When I was a child and a teenager, I lived in a home that revolved around my father and his wants and needs. What we thought or felt was of no real interest and we certainly never got a say in how life played out.
My brother tried rebelling and being a bit of a hellion through his teen years, but I wasn't that type of person. I was the oldest child and I minded my manners and never really found my true voice.
I remember my parents deciding to move house in the middle of my senior year in high school because it suited them. I had no say, except to breathe a sigh of relief when our house didn't sell.
I remember wanting to go to university and being told "girls don't need too much education". I remember leaving home as soon as I was old enough because I wanted to be seen and heard in my own right.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
A few years later, I married into a lovely family who had very strong Christian values. I desperately wanted to be approved of by my new in-laws, moulding my personality and my voice to fit into how a good Christian wife and mother should speak and behave.
I failed many times because it's hard to fit a square peg into a round hole - you keep banging it in, but there are often splinters and cracks.
I wanted to be that lovely, genteel, kind and compassionate woman of biblical proportions, trying to keep my voice down and toe the line.
I did quite well for most of it, but there was someone inside me who just wanted to be recognised for her true self, to be accepted for who she actually was.
Roll on into midlife and my voice has finally gotten stronger.
Upheavals happened and the voice spoke up even louder. Now I listen to that voice and I'm honest about who I am - the person I've earned the right to become.
My blog lets me speak and take ownership of my right to have a voice and to be who still has significance.
Nowadays, I sometimes feel the pressure from my adult kids to pull my head in and toe the line. To be the "nice" middle-aged woman/mother who steps back and doesn't demand anything.
Sometimes I think "maybe I should be that person because it would be easier", but I don't really want to lose myself again. I want to stretch out and not be squashed.
I don't want to be told that I shouldn't say something, or write something, or be something. Surely this is my time to step forward and not have to apologise for who I am any more.
So many younger people appear to have picked up their significance and self-worth by osmosis. I didn't seem to absorb mine anywhere in my younger days, but now it's seeping in and wanting to speak up and speak out.
I really like having a voice, I like saying stuff that , I like having my blog and my space. I don't think that's too much to ask for after 50-plus years of minding my Ps and Qs.
I've come to see that for me it's not necessarily about being "Loud and Proud", it's about being "Real and Glorious" -- and who wouldn't want to be real and glorious?!