Owning a Voice, Walking the Path

I am a writer, a technical writer to be exact, and that means I often subsume my own voice to serve the greater structure or voice of the work I’m being paid to do. Over the past decade that work has focused on networking protocols, application code, hacking exploits, and marketing/business content for brochures or websites. It’s my job and I’m good at it; especially where editing is concerned. I am a badass editor.

What I haven’t been so good at (at least publicly) is speaking my mind or, more to the point, writing down what my mind is telling me. Making statements, putting them out there, and then standing back and claiming with authoritative clarity “I believe that and it is valid.”

Because taking a stand like that is SCARY. Well, it’s scary for me. Because what if you don’t like me? What if I have to get into a confrontation with someone? What if I die from shame and embarrassment?

Do these fears sound familiar to you? Because for me—having been born female, raised religiously, and indoctrinated in the American ethos—it’s my water. It’s my experience that our society and my family taught me to be silent, to be agreeable, and to please those who had power over me; parents, elders, teachers, men, bosses, other women.

And then, eight years ago as my first marriage began to crumble, I found myself in a novel predicament: I had to ask myself questions like “What do I believe?” “What do I want for myself?” “What is it about me that’s worth loving?” That was the start of my awakening, the beginning of the path that’s led me to this point in my life where I truly do believe I have something worth saying.  In fact, I know it.

I know it because I find myself at the intersection of recovery, attachment parenting, technology, acceptance, cognitive behavioral therapy, embodiment, and feminism. These things are edgy and terrifying for most of us because they represent the inner life, the traumatized life, the life that we would so often rather ignore and shove under the water. Hold it there until it stops struggling.

These are the things I’m passionate about; the things I intend to talk about here. The topics are the easy part for me because I live them. The writing is the hard part; the part that I’m here to practice. I’ve chosen to take on this practice in front of an audience because I believe in the power of accountability, transparency, and authenticity. I believe in the power of regular practice even as I struggle mightily to enact it.

So, here goes.

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