To Have A Voice

This weekend I finished a post that I’ve been working on for a little while, a post about all of the moments every day that mean so much to me. Some people write in well-worn mocha colored journals that are filled with hasty pen scratches. Some people (with hypothetically terrible handwriting) prefer to type their musings and maybe (hypothetically again) put them on the internet.

I truly do believe that I write for me, for the pure joy of playing with words and figuring out what I actually think about things. So why put my thoughts and feelings on the internet and share them with people who may ridicule me or – more than likely – not care? I think it is because of the connections. A handful of times friends have told me they have been moved by my writing and even fewer times, strangers have said they’ve enjoyed reading my barrage of thoughts. Just because I can count these moments on my fingers, doesn’t mean they are insignificant.

So, what I was saying, is that I finished a post about these extraordinarily ordinary moments and went to publish it. Then I saw a tiny orange light in the corner of my screen – indicating that I had a notification – and it became another moment I decided to write about out.

A reader told me she nominated me for the Liebster Award – an online award for bloggers from bloggers to recognize new and quality work.

liebster-award-display-2015The way it works is kind of like those email chains – you know, “I have sent you an email telling you I love you, now go tell five other people you love them and tell them to tell five more people that they love them and then have those five people….”

You get it. A ripple effect. This started a download spiral through the black hole of the internet, seeing what other blogs have been nominated, who nominated them, and so forth (sorry, kids, I really did mean to grade your essays). What is mind-blowing is that there are so many blogs and so many stories to tell. Most will never receive more recognition than the praise of a readership that consists of family and close friends. Most stories will go largely untold and a lot of miraculous people will go unnoticed.

The kiddos gripe when I make them write (and then re-write) or when I make them give speeches (and practice and practice and no you may not write in complete sentences on your note-card). If they learn nothing else from me, I hope they realize that they have a voice and that their voice matters. I hope they realize that their words can move mountains (remember mountains can be countries and mountains can be helping one person when you say the right thing at the right time). Maybe your voice doesn’t have words. Maybe your voice is music. Maybe your voice is dance. But whatever it is – it is important and it is worth hearing.

It is no Pulitzer, but it is pretty cool that someone other than my parents and devoted friends has noticed my writing. So here are the rules:

1. Display the Liebster Award badge on your blog.

2. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you. Thank you, Leela!

3. Answer the nominator’s 11 questions.

4. Nominate 11 other new bloggers. Some of these people I know, others I don’t. Some may accept, and some may not. Either way, their stories deserve to be heard.

5. Draft 11 new questions for the people nominated by you.

  1. Who are you?
  2. Where are you from and where do you currently live?
  3. What do you love?
  4. Do you have any morning rituals?
  5. What is your favorite smell?
  6. Coffee or tea?
  7. What is your favorite sound to fall asleep to?
  8. What is your favorite breakfast?
  9. What does your perfect day look like?
  10. Pick three words to describe yourself.
  11. What’s your sign?

6. Notify your nominees. It is up to you whether you’d like to pass this one on. Regardless, just have fun with it and know that your words matter.

*Here are the answers to my nominator’s questions:

  1. How will you describe yourself in one sentence?  I guess I do this in the top right hand corner of my blog.
  2. What have you always dreamed of? Writing a book, being in a musical, having a family, opening a coffee shop, traveling the world while climbing lots of mountains and riding lots of trains (like these).
  3. What or who inspired you to start blogging? This is actually kind of embarrassing. A few years ago I was suffering from some body-image issues and I turned to the internet for help (always a smart move). I found food and fitness blogs as a source of inspiration and finally decided that I wanted a creative project. I guess I actually tried to become a food/fitness blogger at first. Funny now that I am in India and the furthest thing from my mind is running lots of miles and turning down dessert. Blogging makes me write and that is what will make it stick.
  4. What is your process of writing a post? Inspiration – word jumble – edit – read a million times – post.
  5. Which fictional character do you think is the best? Alma Singer.
  6. And why? Because I am reading A History of Love right now and she is a devastatingly brilliant little girl. I also am in love with the name Alma.
  7. What do you enjoy doing the most? Laughing, building relationships, eating, reading, being outside.
  8. What does utopia contain for you? Waffles, good books, best friends, mountains, and coffee.
  9. Favorite Sports and why? Soccer – to play and watch. No particular attachment. It is universally exciting and reminds me of childhood: pizza parties and participation trophies.
  10. What is the one place you’ve always wanted to vacation in? Right now I would kill to be in a cottage in Iceland or a yurt in Mongolia.
  11. What is the most amusing incident in your life? Hmm. Amusing? I think this one counts.

Thanks for reading. And remember – your voice matters.

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