What does it mean to have “a voice” or to have found one’s voice? Is it a perspective, a style of writing? To have one’s opinions heard and acknowledged? To have one’s history taken seriously?
Or is it to have found faith in oneself that your story is worth telling?
Seems fair to say that yes, “finding one’s voice” means all of these things (and more).
The journey to finding your voice can be slow and arduous, and it is a lifelong process. It is recursive. It requires telling your story again and again, to yourself and others, until you hear words that ring true.
Finding your voice is also paradoxical. The conscious search to “find” your voice means that you believe you are in a place where your voice is absent or incomplete, and thus you must “find” it (or at least the pieces that are missing).
In truth, our voices are never fixed. Voices are always in some sort of flux — events of our lives change, repeat, modulate slightly from day to month to year.
So in some way, our conscious search for our voices undermines the very true reality that our “voices” are as changing and impermanent as we ourselves are.
Whether we believe it or not, we already have a “voice” … a style, a perspective, a group that hears and holds and acknowledges our history, a group whose very act of hearing our story gives substance to a faith that says “yes, your story is of value and is worth hearing.”