Finding my voice
For most of my 39 years I have skated by with minimal effort. I got As and Bs in high school without really trying much. Had I done more than the minimum expected of me, I would have really soared instead of skated. College was harder so I dropped out and followed a series of mindless, tedious jobs without ever actually pursuing a career. When I married and had Tyler I was able to focus on them rather than myself. Then Riley came along and she needed so much attention that I was free from having to figure out what I wanted! What she needed was just so much more important than anything else!
Yet still I had fallen into this rut of just “letting” everything happen around me. I placed myself at the calm center of the storm. That place where nothing happens… nothing grows or changes. It’s really kind of a crappy place to be, in retrospect.
Now that I’m two states away from my husband and my kids are developing their independence I’ve found myself with a lot more “me time” than I’m used to. It’s time to decide what I want to do when I grow up because I kind of grew up when I wasn’t watching!
I’ve always loved to write. It’s almost like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without the picture. “Does this word go here? Or is this a better fit?” And I have certain areas about which I am quite passionate.
I think the experiences that most shaped my passions are all the times I felt I wasn’t being listened to or taken seriously. I used to let people get away with that nonsense and then go home and cry about it. I can’t pinpoint the moment it happened. Maybe it was when I finally got a diagnosis on my arm injury. After being in intense pain for about half of my life at the time, I finally found validation. And I liked it! Or maybe it was when I went through the diagnosis process with my daughter. It was probably a cumulative effect but now! Now I have a voice! And I’m not afraid to use it!
And I want to use it! I want to use my voice to help other people find theirs! So many people are in positions similar to where I came from with no idea what their rights are or how to defend themselves when they’re being mistreated.
Now I must develop this voice that I’ve found and learn to use it to help others. I don’t actually know how to go about becoming an advocate. Do I have to go back to school? Would I need to be a licensed social worker? But they say the first step is the hardest. It’s taken 39 years but I finally know what I’m passionate about. Now I get to make a life of it!