*taps mic* Is This Thing On? Learning to Finding My Voice Again

I used to write. I used to write so much. I don’t know what happened, but I turned into somewhat of a mute doll. Quite and pretty, speaks when spoken to; I sit and stir patiently waiting to pipe up. I sit and wait to have my turn. I sit and wait until it’s screaming out of me, waiting for it to burst through the room into a million flames, leaving nothing but light in its path.

I think about this image. Me, sitting there, quietly waiting. Politely chiming in, and then not listened to. And my mouth opens and then closes. Because I don’t know why. I don’t know what has possessed me over the last year to cause this newfound silence. I’m not quite sure what made me go into this vocal strike.

But perhaps I do know why. Perhaps, it was a mix of everything all at once. Perhaps, I’ll share a little more as to why I believe that I was so quiet with you all at a later time.

But I’m ready to be loud now. I’m ready to speak. You see the last year, I’ve spent self-censoring. Whether it was for my own safety or sanity, to preserve friendships or a relationship, my reputation or lack there of, I decided to go underground. I decided to stop speaking up, even when I so desperately needed to. And sometimes when I finally did speak up, it came out all wrong. So, I hid myself.

I hid from my own voice. And I’ve missed its sound.

So after some anguish, after much pain, I decided it was time to come back. I’m ready to be heard. I’m ready to be read. I’m ready.

I’m ready.

The night I decided to write, I felt my old self blooming out of the shell of the person that I had become over the last year; silent, rigid, on defense for the thoughts inside of my head. I felt myself blooming again like a lotus flower or a snake shedding its skin. I felt myself give birth to the person I once was and I mourned through the whole process until I could get my hands on a keyboard.

And I balled up that person I’ve become into a wad of paper, and then I opened her back up, smoothed her out, and added her back into my binder. Because the person, the quiet, subservient person, that I had become over the last year was still a part of me, as she always would be. I keep hold onto this because I’m not completely sure I’ve totally climbed out of that snake skin or bloomed out of that bud, but it’s also a reminder that I can’t go back to quiet Mary. It’s not me. It never was me, and that’s why my body was rejected it every way through a variety of different, new patterns of self-soothing.

My mouth has always been what’s gotten me into trouble as a kid. I was always sharing my opinion as a child, and quite frankly, the grown ups don’t want to hear it. As I have grown older, I’ve honed it in. I know what to say, when to say it, how to say it, and it’s done me some good. I’ve published plenty. I’ve shared my thoughts. I’ve helped people get through their worst times in life. But after honing in my voice and communicative style over the last few years, I decided to close up shop. I wasn’t even in trouble, though. I was trying to impress, I was trying to succeed. I was trying to attract. I was trying to be a more mature version of myself that I thought was too good to write silly essay or comedy sketch. I should be writing novels right now, and if I wasn’t able to, then why bother even write at all? So I sat in silence, words bubbling through every crack in my skin until I had enough. I’d blistered over, waiting to burst open with every single word formulating in my brain.

So this is my piece of peace with that quiet self. It’s my peace treaty. It’s my welcome back into the world where I share my voice, I share my mind, I share the various parts with me that I know could help others. So here, I am. I’m back. At last.

Copyright 2018. Mary McMahon