It took me many years to find my voice in a group of people. Often I’d have something to contribute to a class discussion but was too shy or embarrassed to have all eyes burning into me.
My mouth would feel like I’d sucked a lemon. My heart would thump so loudly that my ears bulged with its incessant pounding. I’d lose my trail mid-sentence and then grope through my spilling mind to regain a semblance of coherence. The experience was infinitely hot-flash inducing—enough to keep my lips caulked shut throughout my school years. (Yes, I mean most graduate school classes too!)
Then I discovered that I truly enjoyed writing. And the bars to my prison surrendered.
Writing gives song to the caged bird in my chest. It releases regurgitated thoughts trapped in purgatory and permits them to be set free.
Committing my stream of consciousness to paper—or on screen, as the case may be—opens pathways. If anything, the discharge of endlessly churning mind chatter offers relief. My head noise finally unwinds and finds solid ground.
As my thoughts unplug and pour out, I can pluck the random meanderings of my mind and deliver order from chaos. The eruption into tangible form converts the tenacious into tenable. Once liberated, I can view each thought as though picking up an object for the first time. I can see that the thought itself is a substance that can be measured, limited and finite, and structured as a story with a beginning, middle, and an end.
On a page, it can be as boisterous, cluttered, and messy as needed. It can meander, spill over, and pillage the paper. As long as it’s not clogging me up any longer.
I am the silent observer of my own mind. And I have a voice.