When I Found My Voice
Finding my voice didn’t happen over night, it was a long time coming. Although the flame of inspiration had been smoldering since I took on the challenging role of being a single Mom with disabilities to children with disabilities, the gas that set my latent courage ablaze came later. Just when I cannot say but one evening, after a long and trying day of meltdowns, medications, housework, dog walking, paperwork, school work, intense back pain, and a failed attempt at completing a course assignment, I had a thought. I believe it was during my lengthy and exasperating conversation with my introverted 17-year-old son regarding nothing serious (from his point of view), only his future goals, ambitions, desires, and dreams. As I spilled out the typical and semi-rehearsed lecture many parents give…you know the one…. ‘you have the world at your finger tips, you can be and do anything you set your mind to, challenge yourself and go after what you really want in life’…yeah, that one, my thought, this itchy, unsettling feeling in my head, began.
Learn to listen to yourself
My Son, being who he is… the perpetual devil’s advocate, asked me “Is that what you did mom? Was it your dream to look after us on your own, pay all the bills, go back to school to get your degree and suffer in pain every day?”. Of course, my immediate reaction was to allow a slight trickle of anger and hurt to flow into a stream of ‘how dare you talk to me that way’ but I didn’t. I didn’t because he was right and he often is with his mature and worldly ways. I answered the best way I knew how… with weak excuses and shifting of blame to my chronic pain condition, lack of time and energy, many stresses blah, blah. He wasn’t having it. We bantered lightly back and forth and I took the easy way out with reports of many tasks that needed to be done right away. But I had one last thing to say… and so did he.
I learn more than I teach
“Honey, you are not me. I didn’t have the opportunities that you have. I love my life and am very happy with how it has turned out and have no regrets”
“Mom, you didn’t even send your book in to be published”
There it was. The gas started trickling on the embers. And at some point, over the next few days, I decided to publish my manuscript. One that had sat untouched, alone, useless in a disregarded folder on my laptop. To say I felt an accomplishment would be an over-statement. I felt raw, terrified, and exposed. Here I am arguing to my children, the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone to explore and take on the world, and I wanted to crawl back into my shell and die. But I couldn’t. There was no turning back now. My children, my reason for living, were unconsciously waiting to see what I would do next while comparing their initial contemplations of who they are and where they are going, with me and my new plight to become an author.
Children see who you are, not what you want them to see
But you see, I had a bucket load of excuses and reasons why I could and would not become an author and inadvertently show my impressionable and vigilant children that dreams do come true. I am a busy Mom in chronic pain, I work part time, I am in my last year of a Psychology degree, I single-handedly run a home, care for and train dogs and I have a child with multiple disabilities. Those are great reasons to NOT waste my time flying after a pipe-dream.
Prepared to contend my position at any point, I continued to support my son in making choices about his future education and job prospects. I listened compassionately to his own introverted-based reasons why he feared branching out into world’s unknown, and cringed inside when I saw the unease and trepidation in his beautiful brown eyes. While I was explaining to him with empathy and assurance, that he owns a story to tell the world, and a strong, mature, and supportive personality to share with those he would meet along his way to finding himself and who he wanted to become as a man, as a partner and as a professional, I found my voice.
You see…I had no business supporting my children through a hypocritical stand.
My reasons for being afraid were really my reasons for why I should.
I am now promoting my novel, learning how to navigate social media, and blogging every chance I get with my new-found and glorious voice. My son is off to Leadership camp where he will be the voice for those who need a friend.
Through the dreams for my children, I found my voice.
How did you find your voice? Share your story below!
Don’t forget to check out my young adult/adult/fantasy novel, “When I Died” and join Adrianna, Jonathan and Dierdre through death, fated love, heart-wrenching loss, unlikely friendships, unimaginable evil, and self-reflection that all can relate to. When I Died is also available on Amazon, Chapters, Kobo and signed copies can be purchased directly through me 🙂