Apr 18, 2007

Finding My Voice

I've found my voice, I think. It's been developing for some time, and It's been integrating into who I am over the last three years or so, but maybe even in the last year, I've fully come into who I am.

What is voice? I'm sure there are text books and paper backs full of discussion. I've taken some English courses in which the text book spends several chapters discussing exactly what communication is. I always liked that, but almost found it a little silly that some one would have to explain it. I always thought, "Can't we just do it instead of reading about it?"

At the same time I used to feel a sense of derision when an individual would speak of "looking" for themselves or say "I'm trying to find myself". It just seemed like so much fluffy mumbo jumbo. Or I remember in the Seventies, the middle aged father of four that would suddenly buy a Corvette, start leaving his shirt unbuttoned and wear lots of medallions. I think that's when mid-life crisis was coined as a term. I remember thinking, in the old days people didn't go through mid-life crisis, because they were to busy trying to survive. I used to really be afraid of mid-life crisis, because I wanted to always be a kind and faithful husband.

Well this isn't a mid-life crisis. Thankfully, because I can't afford to purchase a Yugo let alone a Corvette. My wife faithfully drives me to work each day and picks me up each night until it's warm enough for me to ride back and forth to work on my bicycle. I also think I should take back all my negative thoughts about "finding yourself", because obviously in finding my voice, I have found the means to know myself, and as a consequence know God and others around me in far deeper, richer, and satisfying way.

So what is voice? Well, I'm writing this part first, and haven't read anybody else's work on the topic. This all started as me being engaged to speak at a church academy series, and the title was provided for me.

My personal definition of voice is this:
The ability to express in either concrete or symbolic terms one's inner person, namely one's emotions, big ideas, reactions to the world around, and closely held beliefs. I have effectively "found" my voice when I can express myself to you in a way that is meaningful to us both, and allows you to reflect back to me using your own voice.

It what people mean when they say some one is expressing themselves. They are taking part of their inner person and hading it over to an person so that the other person can receive it, handle it and reflect it back to them. It involves an interaction between two.

The interaction might not be face-to-face even, but might be through the printed page. I'm convinced though that voice must involve some kind of revelation of the inner person and be received by at least one other person. I suppose a diary is the beginnings of that.

Good thing this is a blog and not a book that you've just purchased from a bookstore as I imagine I'll be thrashing ideas about in her for a while. I hope you enjoy it. Please jump in with any comments that you may have.

1 comment:

  1. Adam: I just today discovered your blog and I have been reading it from the beginning for the past three hours. You have a beautiful "voice" - humorous, sincere, honest and full of courage. I hope you never stop writing and sharing with us.