Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Case of the Missing Voice

I have a problem. I think I've lost my voice.

Not my literal voice (I can still speak) but when I open my mouth, there's a disconnect between my brain and what comes out. The things I want to say and the things I hear myself saying... are two totally different things. I don't know what happens! Sometimes I walk away talking to myself, "Did I really just say that?!"

I've always been self-conscious about talking out loud; afraid of looking stupid, I suppose. I tend to only speak when I have something important to say. Which, frankly, on a day to day basis isn't much; especially at work. I tend to only get spoken AT instead of TO; big difference there people. At lunch today, we were talking (I was listening) about how the convenience of texting and IMing has completely ruined our generations' skills at verbal communication. I firmly believe that to be true.

While I've never been very good at verbally communicating my thoughts, I know the Internet didn't help this weak muscle of mine; in fact, it only encouraged lethargy. I remember my friend Amy (then Vos) McLeod telling me that while IMing is comfortable and easy, I'm not doing myself any good. Fast forward 13 years... in some ways, not much has changed, in fact, one could argue it's gotten worse. Thank goodness for unlimited texting plans! My mom always gets onto me, "Why are you texting them when you could just give them a call?" Old vs New, both have their place.

But for me, I sorta had an epiphany today. I've lost my voice! I depend so much on the written word: emails, texts, blogs, etc, that I've forgotten how to speak. Unfortunately, the only way to strengthen this muscle is to open my mouth and speak. But of course, that takes us back my self-consciousness. You know what though? I used to be scared to walk in the doors of the Y. I didn't know what to expect and was afraid of change. I've always been afraid of change. But now, I confidently walk in and get down to business. I suppose the same is true for speaking?

I had a dream once that I was speaking to a room full of women. I was testifying all God's goodness in my life. Apparently I said something funny, because everyone was laughing. I wasn't nervous at all. In fact, I was very calm and collected. It was as though I knew what my purpose in life was. . . . . and then, I woke up. So, I honestly can't tell you what that means, maybe Jennifer could. (God's given her a gift to interpret dreams.)

I've got to find my voice again. God's not through with me yet; not by a long shot!

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