As I was wasting my life away on that time suck that is facebook, I came across a meme/photo/thing that describes me pretty well:
I’m pretty quick to pass on different curiosities that cross my beloved laptop screen, but this one sort of stopped me in my tracks. Its succinctness in describing my life can only be described as miraculous. Now don’t get me wrong, you can’t really shut me up once I get going verbally, but when I get a keyboard in front of me we’re talking about a whole new dimension.
My job as a children’s librarian requires me to be able to interact with people of all ages (a skill that was just recently put to the test when I had a four hour marathon of talking about our upcoming summer reading program to almost 400 kids from preschool up to eighth grade). Public speaking wasn’t something that I was ever looking for as a “must” in my job; in fact, my first responsibility in the library world was putting books back on the shelf after people read them. Perfect for someone who was just wanting to blend into the back ground, get her shit done, and then rush home to her new apartment.
But things became boring and I realized that I liked being around the kids. I shifted my job goals to include the possibility of reading books to kids someday. I studied my co-workers, I let everyone know what I was planning to do and where I was expecting to end up someday, and I practiced talking. I’d answer a phone call or two here or register people for library cards there, and I started to learn how to communicate. Finally! Of course, I had several experiences that made me just want to bury my head in the sand, but I persevered and moved up the library ladder. I assimilated. I realized that reading stories to kids wasn’t just a kid thing, it was a super duper adult thing. They liked to talk about their kids—a lot. I didn’t know how to deal with them—until I did. (Practice, and basically not having a choice.) My communication skills improved immensely.
But here’s the kicker. I was still not able to really connect with people in any deep way. I never felt ownership of my conversations with some co-workers and hardly any of the parents. I managed to keep a side of me hidden because I wasn’t sure if anyone would be able to handle the real me. The me with the foul language and manic personality. The me who always seems to be in a bad mood and has to actively elevate herslef to a more pleasant demeanor. The me who likes to be a smart ass/dumb ass/bitch/complainer/cheerleader/nerd/non-conformist conformist and everything else that makes me, me. That didn’t happen (outside of those poor unfortunate friends and family that have known me since the beginning of my time) until I found my writing voice with this blog.
This is my place to vent, invent and share. My place to say what I want, when I want, to whomever I want. I am grateful for it every day—even when I can’t seem to get my act together and write something (anything) down. I’m grateful for the handful of people who read and comment on my stuff and I am grateful that after thirty-odd years I am finally finding my true voice.
I know I’m not the only one that feels this way. Some of you may not be able to communicate verbally very well at all, and some of you may be more prone to reading stuff instead of writing stuff and I love all of that. Maybe someday you’ll catch the writing bug. Maybe someone will read it. Maybe someone will tell you they love it. Maybe they’ll tell you they hate it. You never know. But it’s great to know that writing is an option for me (and for everyone) and it may be your best bet to find your one true voice.
© DRB 2016