All the time I was growing up, I loved to read and write. I loved English class. I was the editor of my junior high school newspaper one year.
As the years went by, somewhere in my 20s I lost my voice. Both in my ability to speak and to write. No, I didn’t physically lose my voice. But I stopped talking about the real things. The important things. Things like what I wanted and what I felt. Things I liked and things that made me happy. Things I needed as a woman. Things that create intimacy between two people.
When No One Listens Because I was involved with or married to men who didn’t listen to me. After enough time, when the person you think is your life partner stops listening to you, you simply stop. And you lose that fundamental and necessary skill to communicate your deepest thoughts and feelings. And sadly, we don’t even usually realize it’s happened. You lose a necessary component of true intimacy.
Then I Received An Email
About a year ago I received an email from a man I’d gone to high school with. He’s one of those people that is blessed with genuine interest and curiosity, and an innate sense of creative talent that I’ve always been in awe of.
As we continued talking over the next few weeks by phone or email (I’m in Atlanta and he’s still in So. California), he started asking me all sorts of questions.
In one email he asked “What DO YOU wish you could do more of? Outside of family, where do you get the most joy?.” Because my first response had been about my family. Damn. He genuinely wanted to know. He’s also very persistent.
Jumping Out Of My Comfort Zone
And I realized that I had no freaking idea what makes me happy or brings me joy, me as an individual person, me as a woman. Not as someone’s wife, or mother, or employee. Just me. Lori. The individual. The woman. Holy crap. Talk about moving out of your comfort zone and facing scary stuff.
But even when I had some answers, it was almost impossible for me to articulate them. Oh, I can write legal documents like a pro because I’ve done it for so many years. I have absolutely no problem talking to CEOs of major companies, celebrities, and people with more money than most people will ever comprehend.
But to talk or write about my feelings, what I want, what I like? Just the thought of it made me want to throw up.
My Real Voice
Over the next several months, I found some new methods and strategies and have started finding my voice again. My real voice. And that’s when I was really able to answer some of those questions. In a real, honest, straight from my heart way. A way I haven’t been able to do in far too long.
Sometimes it’s still hard to put things into words. But it’s like a muscle that hasn’t been used in a long time – the more I do it, the easier it becomes. And I will always be more than grateful to that very special man for not letting me off easily – and for his persistence.
It’s another layer that I’m peeling away on my path of finding me again.