When I wrote that goal, to discover my voice. I had expectations and goals in mind. I was hoping that I would learn to develop my voice through teaching yoga and continuing to talk about my studies and expanding how I was volunteering and work towards being proud and able to talk about what I do without making myself small. Most people that know me well, know when it comes time to talk about myself or what I am doing, anything that might be vulnerable my posture tends to collapse and I literally make myself smaller.
Little did I know what the year had in store for me, I had no idea how quickly priorities and goals could change, once my health became the most important thing. In fact at times, it feels like the only thing in my life. There are plenty of times were I feel like a prisoner in my body or to treatments or to a strict diet. What role did this play in me finding my voice?
I have discovered a different voice, than the one I expected. I have learned to advocate for myself, I have learned to speak up when I am in pain and even sometimes ask for help. (Still working on the asking for help part, since the last time I went to the ER I waited hours before finally asking for pain medication.) I have learned to say "no" to things and in the process attempting to see that as saying "yes" to myself. I have learned to talk to insurance companies, pharmacies, different health care providers and to find a way to have my concerns addressed. I have learned to say a doctor is not the one for me, and understand that I do have control over the decisions I make in this process.
I say attempting, because this a a huge work in progress. There are tiny, tiny steps. Steps that are so tiny I feel like I am not moving. I still get up every morning, though, I still look for those reasons to smile and enjoy life.
I have learned to tell Adam that I am frustrated and out of energy and that I just need to lay on the couch and watch some stupid TV show or I need time alone.
I continue to pay attention to my posture and work on not making myself small, because I feel awkward, unworthy, embarrassed or like I am not getting better. I still collapse a lot, but I am more aware of it, which is the first step in changing it. It is the first step in being able to breathe and be able to communicate and talk with the true power of my voice.
In the end it doesn't matter if I am talking to a doctor, a room full of students, a friend, Adam or anyone else, my voice and my experience are worthy of being heard. I am worthy of being heard, and as I continue to get better, I will also learn to be comfortable expressing myself and understanding the context in which it is safe and appropriate to speak.
I have no idea for my fifth year yet, but something will come up. I just know that at the end of the next year, it will not look the way I expected and that is totally okay. It might be better then I dreamed.
Question of the day: When do you feel the most comfortable expressing yourself? What is your posture like at that time?