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Finding my Voice

Much of my life has involved a tug-of-war between using and not using my voice. I am naturally shy, self-conscious, even plagued with social anxiety. As a student one part of me wanted to find a safe spot to sit in a classroom, preferably near a wall, in the hopes that no one would notice me. Even as a graduate student I feel this same urge to blend into the woodwork. But as strong as the urge is to hide, the drive to speak--to share my thoughts, to tell my story, to sing my song--is usually stronger.

The truth is, this battle still rages within me. Often I fear I have spoken or sung too much, too loudly, or with too much intensity. Of late, this is a battle I am winning more often than losing. I am learning to dismiss that voice that says "Don't tell your students your stories." I see that my stories have become the building blocks of the community of my classroom. And while I am occasionally aware of the rolled eyes or the apparent disinterest, much more often I sense that by telling my story, I am becoming, to my students, a real human being. I am creating that safe place where students can tell their stories, where we can work together on learning. (Oh, and, I know how to keep one eye on the clock. I am careful not to become the teacher who forgets to do the lesson, because she's too busy telling her story.)

I am learning to win the battle with my singing voice, as well. For nearly ten years I have allowed criticism (much of it imagined, much of it generated by my own insecurities) to keep me from singing with the kind of freedom and sense of abandon I once felt. I am done with that. In fact, yesterday I just let it go during our church service. It was the right song, in the right key, and I gave it all I had. I sang for all I was worth. And I did not do it with fear in my heart or mind. I did it with unapologetic joy!

I titled this entry "Finding my Voice," but the truth is, I found it a long time ago. Now I'm learning to embrace my voice!



Comments

  1. Yes, embrace it! I love your voice, whether talking, worshiping, or singing, you definitely have something worth sharing. Meant to be shared! Run with it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Keep telling your stories and singing your songs.... I applaud both of your talents. Great second post.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you, ladies. It's great to get encouragement from two veteran bloggers (and two such stellar writers).

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice post Coach. You've inspired me to get on the ball with blogging too.

    ReplyDelete

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