On Searching for a Voice
I have some good friends. The ones who challenge me. The ones who call me on my shit. And, most definitely, the ones who send me texts, emails and Facebook messages asking me why I haven’t written anything for a long, long, long time. I appreciate the fact that maybe they actually want to read this stuff, but more likely, they understand how important writing is to me. They assume that if I’m not writing that something may be wrong. It’s usually a safe assumption. Fortunately, that’s not the case this time. Nothing’s wrong. Not necessarily.
I’ve started a number of posts/thoughts; they went something like this:
This morning as I finished my workout with a short meditation, I had a vision of an old turntable. An LP was spinning and the needle was jumping around until it found a groove and The Beatles “Here Comes the Sun” burst from the speakers. I knew exactly what it meant.
As my son’s baseball team warmed up in advance of practice, one of his teammates threw a ball into the creek behind the field. The kids gave him a rash of grief and he responded with, “It’s not my fault. You shouldn’t have been in front of the creek.” And followed this with, “It’s Coach’s fault for giving us the ball.”
When a friend asked, “Are you happy?” and I responded with “Am I ever?” I knew that perhaps it was time to try some new things. So, I went to my first-ever Buddhist service on a couple of Sundays ago.
And this, too:
Yoga, where have you been all my life?
None of these posts were finished, however. They all got to different places. Some nearly finished. Some not even close. But, I couldn’t close the deal. For whatever reason, I couldn’t find the finish line.
All of these experiences – the Buddhist service, the baseball practice, the start of yoga, etc. – have had impact on my recent existence. All of them have played a role in what I can only consider a “change in my voice.” My voice is changing (not in the Brady Bunch, Bar Mitzvah kind of way), but in the tone and what I want and need to say kind of way. In a “what interests me” kind of way. I think, as I got into each of these posts, they just didn’t sound right. The voice wasn’t right. I couldn’t hear myself as I read back the words.
The truth is that I’m not entirely sure what my voice is these days. I’m not entirely sure who *I am* these days. I have this yearning for deep, spiritual conversations that tear at the very core of who we are as people, and yet…I want to keep things easy, simple and free flowing. I get so turned on by inspirational projects and yet, I have this side of me that is all gutter (I see you nodding your heads). I strive to have a circle of close friends, but want desperately to crawl under a rock and disappear.
I understand that all of these things make up who I am. I’m as much the animated character in OF COURSE as I am the guy who curates A Day Well Lived, even though the content from these projects is as far apart as one can possibly get. And yet, I’m the voice of both. I get confused, frankly. It makes me wonder if I’m not being authentic by having such different voices.
Where it gets especially hard is when some friends know me more as the “OF COURSE guy” and others know me as “A Day Well Lived.” Those who have known me longest have questioned how I can be the latter, as I’ve been the former for much longer. The evolution and change in voice has been somewhat subtle. And definitely more personal. In a way, it hurts when those who have known me the longest don’t understand this evolution. I think I was always the A Day Well Lived guy. I was just afraid to show it. But I’m certainly not ever going to lose the OF COURSE guy.
I recently read a book that talked about the importance of staying true to yourself and your intentions as you build your professional networks. So my Twitter feed ends up being a mix of inspirational thoughts and off-color remarks. Can they coexist? Again…I get confused. Just be authentic and true to yourself, they always say…I always say…but what is that? I’m kind of struggling to find out.
And the result? Nothing gets written. So many thoughts swirl through my head. The start of something gets “on paper,” but nothing gets finished. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe it’s part of the process. Maybe this is how I get to figure out what’s really important. If I can’t finish the thought – maybe it’s not meant to be. Maybe these posts aren’t destined to get finished. Maybe the purpose is just to help me find what I feel like I’ve lost.
For now, I think I can live with that. All of me can.