the ability to speak

I started thinking yesterday about why I started this blog. I never really thought of myself as the blogging type. I’m not the type of person that wears my heart on my sleeve. I’m not emotional, and I’m a pretty private person for the most part. I have been both criticized and praised for being the strong, independent stoic that I am. However friends and critics agree, I’m a tightly shut book. So starting a blog was very uncharacteristic of me. I guess I never thought anyone would really read it, or more like I hoped no one would read it. It’s very unnerving to have even one person care about what you have to say. But in spite of my fears, I wrote. At first I kept it private, but then one night I was talking to a friend of mine, and I showed him some of my writings and told him how much I loved to write. He then said something very interesting to me. He said, “Elizabeth, this is really good, but don’t ever get so wrapped up in your writing that you forget you have the ability to speak.” It was then I realized that I had forgotten I had the ability to speak years ago. I have been terrified of speaking in front of people my whole life and I have always been a bit shy. However, when I started high school, I was a hurt young girl who wanted to be strong and independent. I bottled up my feelings, threw them in an ocean, and watched as they were carried away. But standing here on the shores of womanhood, I found the bottle again. I found it in the loneliness of an empty dorm room. I found it in the loss of a friend. I found it in the longing for love. I rediscovered who I am. I stopped shying away from the past and I began to write. I broke the bottle open and let myself be affected by feelings. The other day someone asked me to tell them my story. People had asked me to tell them that before and I always quickly spit out the very rehearsed version of things I had gone through. But this time my mind and heart began to swim with all these thoughts and feelings. What had I been through? How had it made me feel? What was my story? I told my story in a different way. It wasn’t rehearsed. It was just this is what my life was like, and this is how I feel about it. I wasn’t emotional about it. There were no tears and my voice didn’t waver. It was just like, “as a matter a fact that was really hard for me and that did hurt me.” I had come to terms with my emotions. Writing was a huge reason for it. I was able to write about what I was feeling and I had never really done that before. It was my way of having a voice, even if only three people heard what I had to say. I expect only about three people will read this, but three people know. That’s huge. To have three people know what my feelings are. I have a voice now. I remember how to speak and I don’t think I’m going to shut up.

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