Wednesday, May 28th, 2014...9:25 pm

Six Word Wednesday (sort of)

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My Voice

This year I discovered my voice.

Tomorrow night I will help name Austin’s next Teacher of the Year. It will mark the end of a year that has taught me more about what I am capable of, a year where my voice has been valued in arenas I didn’t even know existed before I was invited in. This year I have been asked what I think. Asked what I value. I have been invited to speak to crowds that would have daunted me just a short time ago. I didn’t know a year ago that being named Teacher of the Year would end up meaning so much more than just a title and a plaque and a bit of attention.

I have been challenged and valued and put in a spotlight that I would have previously shrunk away from, wary of any great attention paid just to me. I’ve learned that I may like the spotlight every once in a while.

I have found my voice.

This year I started anew. Renamed my writing space and started fresh. I read what I’ve written here and I’m proud of it. I ignore (or try to ignore) the fact that I have so very few readers now. Instead I write here the words that matter to me. And sometimes they matter to other people too and that makes them feel so much more special.

I took the stage at the start of this month to share my story as a part of Listen To Your Mother. And there, on the stage, with a cast of amazing women, I felt it. I felt my words and my voice echoing out into the world in a way that mattered. It was nerve-racking and adrenaline-producing and cathartic. It was, as I’ve said, one of the first moments where I’ve confidently claimed to be a writer.

And even though they seem unrelated – Teacher of the Year and writer of motherhood stories – there is a connection.  A connection in the confidence I’ve gained to share what I know to be true.

This year I discovered my voice. 

I knew it was there all along. It peeked through cracks and windows and let itself through every once in a while. But, maybe ironically and maybe not, winning an award that had only little to do with my writing gave me the courage and opportunity to use my voice in ways I’ve always wanted to, ways that challenge me and push me beyond my comfort zone. Ways that help me to change and grow – and hopefully help others do the same.

Tomorrow I pass the title on to someone new. I hope their year is as full of discovery and growth as mine has been.

Photo credit to our amazing Listen To Your Mother Austin photographer, Casey Chapman Ross. 

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1 Comment

  • I loved this piece and how clearly you said it. It is amazing how we grow without even expecting those results. Congratulations on a year filled with excitement and achievement for the 2013 Austin Teacher of the Year!What will be next?????

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