Thursday, November 04, 2010

30 Days of Truth: II

Background on the 30 Days of Truth series here.

Day the Second: Something you love about yourself

Holy crap! It's 11:50pm on Day 2, and I haven't posted yet. (Please to be referring to Day 1, haha.)

So. Something I love about myself.

*crickets chirping*

This is tough, because there are times in my life when I absolutely love SO MANY THINGS about myself. And then there are times in my life when I absolutely love ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about myself. I struggle with the balance between confidence and humility, pride and modesty, Sense and Sensibility. (I do not know what that means.)


So, let's just go for right now, at 11:51pm on Thursday, November 4, 2010, in the year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, something I love about myself is my voice. And I mean that in the literal sense, in the musical sense, and in the figurative sense. One of the things on my Future Tree is to use my voice for fun, for profit, and for good, and I think I do that pretty consistently. Here's how:

Literally, I love the sound of my voice. Just today, I got a lovely compliment from a stranger on the phone; as I was scheduling an appointment for her with the psychologist I work for, she told me that I was very soothing and friendly, welcoming and caring. I think that's pretty cool, especially since I've always hated the telephone, which I think we can trace back to when I was younger before my voice changed and when I would answer the phone, people would call me "ma'am" or whatever. (Oddly, depending on the tone of voice I'm using and the person on the other end of the line, this occasionally still happens. Often when I'm speaking to African-American women on the phone, they'll hear my voice as female. You tell me.)

Musically, I'm coming into my own and learning about the power and mystery of my voice. Singing is something that I've always done (in the car, in the shower, etc.) but it's only in the last six years that I've been singing in any sort of structured environment. (Have I ever told the story of how that happened? It's a little bit mystical, so maybe there's a God component to why I love my voice. Story in the footnotes below.*) I've had the opportunity to sing solos in and around church, and I like the musical aspect of it, as well as the spiritual/emotional aspect of it.

In the figurative sense, I think it's taken three and a half decades for me to find my "voice" -- as a writer, as a leader, as a Christian, as a friend, etc. I'm not sure what has changed over the last couple years (I mean, a hell of a lot has changed over the last couple years, but I don't know what specifically to attribute THIS change to), but I've finally felt comfortable being myself -- the good and the bad that comes along with that. And I think that has shown in my writing -- what little writing I've done lately! But I also think that shows in my leadership; I feel like I know better today what's important to values and priorities. And that makes me a better leader. I'm still experimenting, I think, using the words and phrases of Christianity -- my faith life until about five years ago had been a rather solitary, private enterprise. So I think that's one aspect of my voice that is in flux -- but I love that it's in flux...and I hope it's OK with both of you, dear readers, that I occasionally experiment with you on that here on ye olde blogge. I think I've also come into my own when it comes to speaking my truth as a friend. That's had some unpleasant consequences over the last couple years, but I think that's probably part of the adventure.

So, there you have it: I love my voice.


* As I said, growing up, I always sang when I was alone -- in the car, in the shower, walking on campus at IU when no one else was around. But I didn't sing with a choir or anything. Until... In 2003, I was working on a consulting project in a city called St. Catharines, Ontario. I had just gotten back from my trip to Italy, Ghana, and the UK, and I was still very much in Say Yes To Any Request mode. I was attending a church event, just talking to a friend, when a woman tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Are you singing in the choir at Mountainview (the name of the church I was attending there)?" I, of course, told her "No," because (a) I wasn't, so "No" was the correct answer, and (b) I had never sung -- nor never seriously considered singing -- with a choir before. She immediately said, "You should be." I said, "What do you mean?" and she said, "You have a lovely God-given voice. Use it." So, I contacted the music director at Mountainview and got into the choir there. I've been singing with church choirs pretty much ever since then.

1 comment:

Martha Giffen said...

Loving your voice and "finding" your voice at the same time! Now, that's progress! Nice blog :)