I haven’t blogged for a while. It’s not because I haven’t had anything to say – trust me, I’m rarely short of something to say. I guess I just lost my confidence.
I’m not 100% sure why. I’ve recently had an amazing promotion at work which I’m very proud of but it has, inevitably, taken a lot of time and brainpower and hasn’t left much of either for blogging. I’ve also not been feeling tip-top. Mental health is such an odd thing, there’s often no rhyme or reason for feeling out of kilter and it can pass (almost) as quickly as it comes, but that’s a blog for another day. Suffice to say, I’ve lacked the wherewithal to write much.
However, a couple of things happened this week that have led me to re-evaluate blogging and what it means to me: the Kavanaugh US Supreme Court hearing that has been playing out in the media, and listening to a few strong female authors at my local literary festival.
Take first the extraordinary hearing in which Dr Christine Ford accuses Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Whatever the rights and wrongs, she is a woman that has stood in front of the world and spoken. She has had the courage to put herself into the spotlight and give a credible, measured account. She faced a panel of (mostly) white, middle-aged men, who were, along with the rest of the world, judging her. And yet she stood firm and gave her testimony. At great personal cost, she spoke her truth, even if her voice shook.
I can’t help but admire that.
Then I went to talks by the fabulous Bryony Gordon, Clare Pooley and IslandLiving365. The latter spoke about her life and journey into blogging and the doubts and fears that she had along the way. Despite those, she is a success, regularly telling it how it is, and hearing her talk reminded me that I haven’t been doing that lately.
I haven’t been my authentic self. I’ve been afraid to use my voice.
I know, I know, cue hippy-dippy California shrink imagery. Cue ‘you go sister’ fist pumps. But it’s not really that. It’s about living honestly, aligned with your core values, being proud of your you-ness. Authentic. Genuine. Real. And not being afraid to put your head above the parapet sometimes and say, ‘coo-eee, over here! Listen to me for a second’.
It’s too easy for women of my age to fall off the radar or be deemed irrelevant. But this week, I was reminded that there are a rich seam of women who ARE out there, using their voices in an authentic way, telling it how it is and sticking two fingers up to anyone that doesn’t like it. It lit the fire in my belly again.
I am one of them. They are my tribe.
And so I’ve blown the metaphorical dust off my blog account and written this. It might just be self-indulgent therapy and it certainly ain’t gonna win a Pulitzer. Whatever it is, it’s a promise to myself to remain authentic, and to continue speaking the truth…even if my voice shakes.