Use Your Outside Voice – An Intro

Why start a blog?

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I remember my first journal well. It was a Hello Kitty covered, wide-ruled, seven-year-old’s dream. I wrote in it every single day – all of my second-grade hopes and dreams on paper penned in colorful gel ink (remember those bomb ass gel pens?!). I found great comfort in writing. When I wrote I could say whatever I wanted to say; I could write about whatever was important to me. I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission. I could just be.

As time passed and my journaling continued, I found more ways to use writing as my outlet and began writing poetry and songs at age 13. There was something about artfully combining words that was therapeutic to me. When I wrote I didn’t think about what people would think of me if they read my words. They were mine, from my heart, things I was too shy to express through speaking but felt so freeing to see on paper. It was the one outlet where I felt entirely myself. I wasn’t trying to make someone like my writing nor was I trying to win something. I wasn’t overly conscious about how my words would be received because they had always been just for me.

When I was 16, after the passing of my older sister, my attitude towards writing changed. While my love for writing persisted, what I wrote became heavy and writing started to feel less like a hobby and more like something I needed to do to stay afloat. This prompted me to share my first song when I was 17 – a song about my sister, the day my family and I lost her, and the pain the loss had left us with.

Although up until this point in my life I had never before shared my writing, my decision to share this song felt necessary. Losing someone so suddenly had left me with so many overwhelming emotions, ones that felt too heavy to keep to myself, I could no longer pretend I was not feeling. I did not expect much when I shared this song with my friends and later with the attendees of my school’s fine arts showcase, but the response I received was truly eye opening. People I had never met were brought to tears by the lyrics of my song. Strangers revealed to me their own struggles with grief, the secret pain they held close inside.

It was at that moment my feelings towards sharing and vulnerability changed. By sharing my truth, what I was truly feeling, I realized I wasn’t alone. The emotions that were overwhelming me, the pain that left me feeling so isolated – they were not secrets I had to keep to myself, and they were actually felt by the people around me too. While I had spent so much time believing my vulnerability should be something I keep to myself, sharing my most vulnerable words turned out to be one of the most powerful and freeing feelings I have ever encountered. I finally understood that there was an entire world looking and hoping to connect and by simply sharing what I had wrote, I was able to do just that.

While I learned this lesson and felt this feeling many years ago, it wasn’t until recently I have really started to put this into action and USE MY OUTSIDE VOICE when it comes to my writing about the things that make me feel vulnerable. I am hoping through this blog whoever reads will feel more inclined to share their own truth, to open up and relate and to be vulnerable and real in a world that is becoming increasingly fixated on perfection. So please join me as I navigate this new (to me) world of blogging.

Thank you for reading! Sending love & light to you wherever you are.


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