Creative Writing,  Life

My Voice

Senior year of high school fills my mind with an endless number of memories and stories. Even though several years have gone by, there’s one week from that winter that still pinches my memory.

I was unlucky enough to catch an array of bugs that season. This particular week brought me back to class with a sore throat and barely able to raise my voice above a whisper. Although a temporary loss, I was extremely annoyed. My best friend served as a mind-reader/translator of hand signals. It really felt like the end of the world at the time. There were too many things to express, and so many events to discuss.

This was a class in which I regularly voiced my opinions and debated with classmates. I had always been very shy–embarrassed to share my thoughts or even speak in public. So in a class that was just a midday burden for some, I was building my self. I’ve been trying to express that for some time.

my classmates and their own signals

I’m still working on self-image, confidence and the like. I try to motivate myself and to not be overwhelmed by someone else’s standards. Some problems arise from not feeling confident in my own ideas.

Don’t get me wrong: I have an excellent education, upbringing, and am able see opportunities everywhere. My problems are my own. Everything moment I pass up or choose to act on adds to my voice. Not making a decision or taking an opportunity is definitely a choice.

Obviously the world is not so simple. Having a voice does not ensure that you will be heard, but the search and the strength that results is what shapes who you are.

I discovered this quote from Melinda Gates some time ago:

“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult. It’s complicated by the fact that in most nations women receive substantially less education than men.”

It’s been bouncing around in my brain for a while now. I am a young woman, not so long out of my “teens”. I move between proudly flaunting my resume of life-experience and actively hiding from it. My life has changed in so many ways in the past year couple of years, yet there are also many things that have remained the same.

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