Friday, July 12, 2013

The Voices in My Head

My purpose for creating a blog is quite simply to quiet the voices in my head.  The first voice says, “You are a liar. You tell your kids to follow their dreams, and you gave up on yours.” It is a critical, accusing voice that reprimands me for not practicing what I preach. In all honestly, I have always been moved by the power of the pen. Writing is my coping mechanism.  I get flustered when someone confronts me verbally, yet I can compose an eloquent argument on paper. In my teen years and early twenties, my response to conflict was to write about it.  My husband would be shocked to know how many letters I wrote him that he never received.  It is probably a great blessing to our relationship that those papers were crumpled up and tearfully tossed into the trash can instead. Venting on paper keeps my emotions in check and allows me to remain objective in person.  Over the years, I have composed countless replies to life’s injustices, but they were never shared.  The process of writing them was therapy enough.
I studied journalism in college and planned to be writer, but I got married, then I had children, then I forgot all about my dreams and became consumed with their dreams.  I have no excuses--life happens. As my children have gotten older, I have constantly encouraged them to find their passion and embrace it.  When my daughter started college, I encouraged her to find a job that would allow her to love what she does every day. It was then that she gently reminded me I had not done the same. Instead of writing, I have spent the last 23 years teaching writing. In all honesty, the hours of a teacher make family life far easier than those of a writer; it was a logical compromise.  However, teaching is not the same as doing.  This much is true. While teaching has its obvious rewards, it is not my true passion. I envy and admire my co-workers for whom it is. Unfortunately, teaching has never challenged me in the way that carefully crafting an editorial did in my college years.  The loaded question resonates in my mind: “Don’t you regret selling out your dreams, Mom?”  Do I?  I think if I am honest with myself, I must admit that I do.  Regret is different than resentment, however.  I do not resent my choices; I regret my actions.
The second voice in my head is the ever-present interrogator.  It creeps into my head and asks countless questions like: “Who are you?” “What do you stand for?” “Where is your passion for life?” “Lady, what happened to your fire?” Questions like these keep me awake at night. I have decided it is time that I answer them. I am writing in hopes that as the pen (or keyboard in our modern day) and I reconnect, I will be able to settle these questions once and for all. And thus begins my blogging experience….


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