Friday, January 20, 2012

Finding My Voice

I've been thinking a lot lately about my voice - you know, the impact I make on people and the impressions I leave.  I don't feel I have much of a voice.  Maybe even literally.  In most situations I am pretty used to being in the background and not speaking much.  I think in the circumstances I am more quiet, it's because I'm used to being that way, or the people I'm interacting with are used to me being that way; they just assume that Brie will not talk or contribute much, or that I don't have anything important to say.

I think that's partly why I had so much fun at Bear Lake this last weekend.  When I am with those friends, I have a voice.  I talk and I joke and I do silly I'm the Champion of the Rook Tournament dances that involve pelvic thrusts and the running man.  I contribute to the conversation.  People ask my opinion, because my opinion matters to them.  It's really a great feeling.

I want that more.

I was talking a bit about this with my T this morning, and she remarked that I have quite a voice on my blog, and that a lot of people follow me.  I kind of made a derisive snort, and she asked why I was dismissing what she had just said.  And I told her that it's kind of pathetic to have a voice over the internet, but not in real life.  And she remarked, quite simply, "Well, it's a place to start.  And I know you make a difference to those who read."

And she's right.  I'm glad that what I write matters to all of you.  I'm glad that I've made an impact in some of your lives.  I'm glad that I matter.

I guess, now, I just need to learn how to do that in my "real" life.  I need to figure out how to have more confidence, and not conform to the identity that people think I should have, and just keep my mouth shut because it is expected of me, or because I expect it of myself.  I want to have experiences like I had in Bear Lake all of the time.  I want to feel silly and giddy and not be embarrassed to be that way in front of other people.  I mean, theoretically, I want to figure out a way I can pelvic thrust my way through my whole life.  ;)  Know what I mean?

Well, it's a journey, that's for sure.  Finding my voice after 10 years of starving it away isn't going to be easy.  Back then, when I was dying, I could use my body to let everyone know how I was.  People could look at me and read "I'm dying because I hurt so much," but I never could say it out loud.  It's scary and tricky and just plain...odd...to actually open my mouth and form words to how I'm feeling.  Even now, I mostly just do it with Brandon, but he's incredibly patient and great at helping me find the words I need to describe the hurt, just so that I don't need to hurt my body anymore to do the talking for me.  Sometimes simply telling him, "Hey honey, I'm not okay," is all I need.  And he envelops me in his arms and I sit with the hurt until it goes away, rather than letting it nearly kill me like it has in the past.

So, just to get a little bit of practice, I'm going to use my voice in this post today and tell you how I'm feeling.  I want to say that today, I'm okay.  I'm not particularly happy, but I'm not too sad, either.  Just feeling really reflective.  Just wanting things to change, and feeling motivated to change them.  Feeling grateful I have all of you, because my T is right.  Using my blog to help me find my voice is a great place to start.  And you all have been so fantastic at getting me to speak up.  At getting me to open up. 
And I seriously love you for it. 
So, thanks.  :) 
May we all use our voices today, instead of hurting our bodies to speak for us.  Because we all have something really, really important to say.

22 comments:

t. said...

thrust away, Brie! I think it's great that you are starting to have more confidence. :)

Erin said...

I've always found you thrusty with me!

brie said...

okay this thrust nonsense needs to stop... ;)

po said...

Well, I hope this doesn't sound too lame, but ever since I found your blog I have become a total stalker. I need to check every day for an update. I know what you mean about finding your voice though because ever since I got a new job at a serious academic place I have become mute and hide away, when I know that I love to talk nonsense. Now I hardly speak at all. I guess it would really not be so bad if people got to know the real me, the one who talks utter nonsense sometimes (ok often).

Lindsay said...

Oh man...you rock.

Erin said...

What I mean though is you've only been quiet around me when you were really upset about something... I've always found you highly personable.

brie said...

hee hee. the word "thrust" just made me think all kids of dirty! ;)

bri said...

This post really relates to me too. Thanks so much for writing it cause it helps me figure out where I need to work too. I had some apts. today and im realizing how much harder it is to explain how youre hurting when your appearance doesn't just do the talking for you. Its like we have to be grown up adults now and talk to them instead of just look sick and let them assume, its hard!! I love u so much Brie u amaze me!

Gina K Coons said...

I must say that I admire you. You have grown a ton. I remember one Christmas I saw you with a feeding tube in your nose at the mall. I felt sad for you but at the same time I remembered you in junior high high and high school and how much I sat and just watched you. You are amazing. You are a wonderful friend and listener. You are social and possess so many talents. You were goofy and spontaneous and you loved life. That is what I saw anyway. That is the Brie I knew and admired. You have a contagious smile and great love for life. Your family is very lucky. I know they know that person and more people than you think do as well. Thanks for your post. It was very nice to read.

Sharee said...

Great post. You have a great "voice" on your blog, I sometimes relate with certain things you say and Know I am not alone. Plus you have great eyebrows too...ha ha

Angela and Brett said...

I think i have the unique experience of seeing you in both settings. I love you both ways. But can i just say that i feel that the Pelvic thrust Brie is the LIFE of the party. Seriously though. I love it. I feel like its the real you coming out. Not "coming out"... you k now what i mean. Everyone wants to be around you because you are funny and clever and fearlessly dirty. I know we all have moments when we want to sit back and let others take over the conversation, but i think that if and when you want to, you can seriously WOW people with your personality

Stacy said...

Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for sharing your great voice and being awesome. I think sometimes I don't understand what is going on with me til someone else has a realization and it flips my switch too. I have had many of these moments reading your blog. Love you Brie. you are doing hard things.. and it is awesome to witness :-)

Katie said...

You do have a voice. What you say does matter. Love your blog.

Jonny and Haley said...

Me gusta the victory dance. Me gusta mucho.

Ash said...

I'm glad you thrust came to this conclusion! *tee hee

Thanks for posting your blog on facebook! I'll have to add ya to my reading list... <---creeeepy.

brie said...

ash! i've been blog stalking you for like the last hour! so happy you have a blog! :)

Fight 4 Ur Lyfe said...

I'm proud of you gal. Keep working to "find" that beautiful and amazing voice that I know to be within you!

Krista said...

I'm so glad that you are finding your voice. I can't tell you how big of a breakthrough it was for me when I realized I wasn't giving myself a voice. Working on that made all the difference in recovery. I'm still working on it, but it makes things so much better. For me I had to realize just how much I wasn't giving myself a voice and in all kinds of ways. I hated (and still do hate) conflict so trying to be the "peace maker" actually made me more miserable in the long run. I think when you aren't able to speak up for what you need you start to feel turmoil inside because you aren't being congruent on the outside with who you are on the inside- that totally sounded like a Dr. B. comment, but he is a wise man so that's okay. I hope you can keep on finding your voice and speaking up!

AlwaysJoy said...

You do have a voice! And T is right your voice here is helpful - thank you

AlwaysJoy said...

You do have a voice! And T is right your voice here is helpful - thank you

Jacqui said...

I'm so glad you wrote this! I can so super relate. Love this post + your blog. <3

Bryce said...

really needed to read something this inspiring today. Thanks!