I lost my voice. Not because of the flu or a sore throat. I lost my voice because I let it happen. If you have been part of the journey, you will remember a few pieces back where I was grappling with what to do about the treatment I was receiving from people in my life. How their behavior remained consistent for an extended period to a point it became normal for them to treat me anyhow. Until I put a stop to it. Guess what? Like Britney Spears, Oops, I did it again. I allowed people to treat how they want. And in doing so, I lost my voice.

I let people cast fear and doubt. I let other people tell me what to do with this platform. Because it was making them uncomfortable. I stopped writing because I let people plant voices of doubt in my capabilities to express myself. Many a day I would sit staring at my laptop with so many thoughts swimming through my head, only for them to crash and burn like waves against a shore of disappointment, because I never got to pen down those thoughts. Imposter syndrome had me feeling like whatever I was going to put to paper was not worth sharing here.  Self preservation had me not wanting to be vulnerable. Preserving the dignity of others had me not wanting to speak about things that I was experiencing. I deeply regret this. Those were some dope thoughts that went unwritten. 

Most recently someone told me that my opinions overshadow other people’s opinions. So it denies others the opportunity to share. Because my thoughts and/or opinions are too powerful they drown out everyone else’s. They later explained that they meant no harm in saying that but all I kept hearing is that my voice is too loud. Too intimidating. Too much. And I went quiet, both in conversation but also in my writing. I almost did not sit down to write today. 

To be objective, I did give this one last conversation some thought. And moving forward I will take that into consideration when in a space where diverse perspectives are being shared, so as not to diminish other people’s voices.

And hence my silence.

What gets my goat is that I let it happen. My staying silent means that I have allowed other people’s words to influence how I view myself. Other people’s interpretation of my actions and opinions have had me second-guessing myself. And like before, I realized their actions and intentions notwithstanding, the only thing I truly have control of is what I do with that information. And I let it seep under my skin into my bloodstream and it caused me momentary paralysis.

In the same period of internal turmoil, someone did remind me of my “why”. Why I started this platform. That writing in itself was my own way of protesting against being silenced. That writing is an affirmation that my voice matters. C’mon it is in the name! If I have lost you please reference here. For a moment there I let the naysayers win.

Not anymore.

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