For as long as I can remember I’ve been told that I have a wonderful speaking voice and should be on the radio. Ironically, I’ve lived the best part of my life believing that I don’t have a voice at all. This is to say I have always felt that I have to almost yell at people in order get them to hear what I am trying to tell them. In some cases, this has actually been needed. However, in most other cases, it has not been needed. It’s always been my interpretation of an interaction that has caused me to raise my voice in order to be heard. I can’t tell you how long it has taken me to finally realize that I actually do have a voice and don’t have to yell in order to be heard.
One of the ways in which I am making my voice heard is through this writing. I have found over the past couple of weeks that writing stories, whether it be nonfiction or fiction, has given me an outlet for speaking out and using my voice. Even from a young age I was acutely aware of this perceived disconnect I had with people, especially members of my own family. Being the youngest of three children, I always felt the need to yell as loud as I could to be heard by my siblings. As expected, this backfired in a variety of negative ways and actually had the opposite effect of what I was hoping to achieve.
My storytelling has allowed me to tap into a well of information that I did not know was there. I am able to speak my mind without anyone judging me and I am grateful to be able to write without the fear of being silenced. I also wanted to emphasize the other benefit of writing stories: therapy. My writing has been therapeutic in ways I didn’t know were possible. For years people kept telling me to write, but I shrugged them off because I didn’t believe in myself. Now that I am through the looking glass so to speak, I see now that writing is my own version of therapy. I am finally able to tell my side of the story regarding situations or experiences from the past.
In closing, writing is also a form of record keeping. It records my memories of events that I witnessed or were a part of. Those memories are now written down so that one day in the future, my children can read them and understand who their father was at the age of 26. While writing may give me a voice, it also provides me a direct communication line to my future children. I believe this is why writing is so important to me. I honestly can’t wait for my children to read these pieces of writing and understand how I developed through the years. Perhaps, through reading these stories and reflections on my life, my children will know me on a much deeper level. What a gift that truly is!