For the first 36 years of my life I had been competing with outside voices telling me who I am, what I am, and what I will do with my life. It starts with parents, then siblings, friends, teachers, bosses and before you know it, you have lost yourself in the shuffle.
For the last year I have finally started to listen to myself. My inner voice had been quieted by the dreams other people had for me. I woke up one day and thought to myself, “I don’t remember dreaming about working in a cubicle in a building with bad lighting?”
Nobody grows up and dreams about being a salesperson or a truck driver. We grow up wanting to be artists, doctors, superhero’s and ballerina’s. Somewhere along the way our voices our silenced, why?
I’ve been a writer since I was old enough to hold a pen. I’d leave scrap paper with scribbled thoughts all over the house. I typed up poems on typewriters, and printed out short stories on computers back when all we had for programs was Dos 2.0 and the paper would get stuck and you’d have to crank it to get it out. I took creative writing in college, wrote plays, screenplays, musicals and even published a poem in the National Library of Poetry’s Anthology, River of Dreams.
Yet, this is the first year of my life that I’ve ever considered myself a true writer. I think my inner voice fell silent on my own ears. I’ve spent so much time believing what others thought I should be, or what I believed to be the more responsible avenue, that I ignored my calling.
Today I take my voice back. I am a writer. I don’t care that I’m not a best-selling author. Maybe I will be one day, maybe I won’t. Either way, it doesn’t define me. I define me. I don’t care if I’m not a millionaire or that I don’t have a 401k. I will survive, I will find a way and I will do it as a writer and nothing else.