I kept real quiet on here for a few months while friends and family would kindly ask, "where did you go?"
I’d smile and fidget awkwardly; my posture whenever someone says kind words. I felt so grateful they'd noticed I left but also so guilty for not coming back.
I’m sure you’ve felt this way before too - there’s something you used to do but stopped doing it because maybe life got too busy or hard. Maybe the thing you really loved started to feel like a silly hobby, taking you away from being a “real adult". Maybe it felt luxurious or selfish. Maybe it didn’t come easy anymore, it felt a heck of a lot like work.
And you believed the lie that if it’s hard, you should stop. Maybe you’re not meant to do it.
The juice isn’t really worth the squeeze.
Perhaps you desperately wanted it to become something and it stayed small.
My main reason for stopping was because I couldn't find my voice. Which seems like a silly thing to misplace. But it didn’t sound familiar anymore. Suddenly the voice I knew, the way I was writing, felt like talking to a friend I hadn’t seen in quite a while.
The friend you used to be really close with as a child but after high school, both went your separate ways. Her down one path, you down the another. And suddenly, all the things that seemed so similar before don’t really match up.
So you sit down for coffee, unsure of the best place to start other than at the very beginning, because you have to get to know each other all over again.
So I stopped sharing because I figured voice was essential to this space. I had to find it.
Along the way, I learned the places you don’t find it.
You don’t find your voice by sitting on it.
You don’t find it by keeping quiet and aiming to please.
You don’t find it by changing who you are depending on who you are with.
You don’t find it by scrolling through instagram or checking facebook.
You don’t find it by choosing isolation in the midst of pain. Or saying, “I’m fine” when really you’re falling apart.
You don’t find it without crawling back into your past. You don’t have to stay there, you just need to visit and dig your feet in a little.
I can say these things with confidence because I’ve done all of them. Many of them I still wrestle with because I’m human. We get buckets of grace for being human. So voice has been the thing I keep coming back to and truthfully it’s been one of the hardest parts as a writer.
Because if it means not silencing it, it means we have to speak. It means we have to walk through the fear - even when we feel like someone else could write this piece way better or we believe the lie that it’s all been said before.
It also means we listen. We have to listen to find our voice. We have to be willing to be quiet and still and put our phones away or any other distracting device that pulls us from living in the present moment.
We have to be willing to go do things alone. Which used to be way easier for me before getting married.
If I am learning anything, it’s that voice isn’t stagnant, it moves and changes and adapts. Because we change and grow. So if this space doesn’t change, I think I am doing an injustice.
And I’m certainly not being honest with you because the woman I was two years ago is different than the woman I am now. And those changes aren't always clear and visible. They're rarely flashy and instagram worthy. Often the change is grueling inner work, slow and steady.
Two steps forward, one step back sort of thing.
And the only folks who really notice are the ones we are doing life with day in and day out.
So I’ll probably be introducing you to a few more chapters of my story in the weeks to come. I’ll have you meet the person I was in order to truly understand the woman I am now - the woman I am slowly becoming. Because I can’t silence those stories or abandon my past.
And truthfully, I don't want to choose. I don't want to pick a voice and silence all the others. I am still growing in and through them. And I suppose I want to give you the push and encouragement to do the same - to be all the many parts of you. No matter how conflicting they might seem.
Because I think in that place, the tug of war, the walking through our past and touching the walls of where we've been, we just might find it. We just might find the quiet whispers of a girl we used to know and haven’t spoken to in quite a while.
We just mind find our most honest voice.