Sunday, September 14, 2008

Finding a Voice

Several months ago, it was conveyed to me that much of what goes on in my head is worth sharing.

This had never occurred to me before.

I've been thinking alot about that over the past few months and finally got around to talking about it with Traci and Julie. I'm still thinking about it.

Here's the scary part: Essentially, I've been telling myself that I don't matter.


The more I think about it, the more I realize how little I use my voice: I don't often offer an opinion in a conversation, even with friends. I rarely call anyone for a chat. I'm resistant to Twitter, blogging, Facebook, etc. I simply cannot imagine that anyone could possibly be that interested in what I have to say. Even in discussions (i.e. times when opinions are being tossed around), I just don't think that anything I have to say will contribute very much to what's already being said.

I can't actually think of a time when anyone came right out and told me that what I had to say didn't matter. It's difficult for me to verbalize what I'm thinking sometimes and there have been some awkward moments on my part but still, no one has ever told me to stop talking.

The work I do all day long involves throwing ideas around until a solution is reached. I'm friends with people who love to think. I would like to participate but I just can't seem to get myself unstuck from saying nothing or acting like I don't think.

So if I don't feel like I have anything to say, then why I am writing this? In part, maybe it's that by sharing I'll realize how ridiculous it is and will be able to convince myself that I do have the right to have a voice.

I've been told numerous times that I'm passionate, intelligent, and talented. Assuming that's true, then I'm not living up to my potential by keeping my mouth shut.

My desire is to help people (more on that another time. that's a post of it's own). What I'm realizing is that in order to do that, I need to find my voice. If not ultimately so I can talk about myself all the time, then eventually for the greater good of other people.

As I was looking up a quote from Gandhi (We must be the change we wish to see), I came across this one:

"The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within."

Smart guy that Gandhi.


Anonymous said...

You have a voice! I have seen it especially on our late night talks when we lived together!

But I understand where you are coming from. I am like you and would rather be a bit quiet and shy then say something that I feel people will just sweep under the rug.

But once you recognize it, your thoughts will come out more and more before you know it! (I know it is in you, I have seen it!)

Hope everything else is wonderful with you girl!

traci said...

You matter! This is true! I'm so glad that you are starting to internalize that more and more.

I love hearing your thoughts. Thanks for being my friend.

Kim Smith said...

Hey Jenny! If you were there for my interview with Jeff, you know that this is something that I struggle with also. I think we all reach a point in life when we realize that we do matter and that our thoughts and feelings are worth stating. You owe it to yourself to be YOU because nobody else can!

jeff said...

i feel the same way