I love traveling. Especially as the driver of a vehicle. It gives me this deep freedom to think – because at the wheel, that’s all you really can do.
Sometimes those journeys – the thinking ones – are important and big and necessary and they hit me unexpectedly. Last night driving to the Riverland to see some of my loved ones and spend today working on Manifold Portrait was one of those big, important journeys. I journeyed to many places, but one of them I tried to capture with my mobile phone to share with you.
We make ourselves small in so many ways. Keep our joys and our talents secret. So that we don’t outshine others. So that we don’t disappoint others. So that we don’t accidentally oversell ourselves and then look ridiculous to others. Notice how all those things end in others?
One of the things I enjoy and value most about the internet – and social media like facebook especially – is having a window into the lives of the people I love and the lives of interesting ‘everyday’ people I admire and find interesting. Hearing what gives them joy, gives me joy, make me cheer for them. Hearing their struggles reminds me that I’m not alone and deepens my empathy and my care for them. Hearing about the details of what they do and how they think, expands how I think and what I do. I take and gain so much from what others share.
But sometimes, despite the volume of what I share myself, I don’t really reveal very much at all. I keep myself mostly pretty safe. I slide past the details of my vulnerabilities and mention my joys through statements of success rather than delving into the complexity of my true lived experience of joy.
I listen back to that video and all I hear is every ‘not quite right’ note. I hear my croaky, not quite healed from sickness voice. I hear the indicator of my car and the hum of my car on the highway. I hear the way I gently mock myself (and why anyone would want to listen) in the way that I laugh. I hear the small echo of how very much I truly love people. I hear all my feelings for my children struggling to crack through in tears. I hear all my history both calming and driving me. But what I hear loudest, clearest is that brief moment where the music is about to start and I hurriedly apologise for how this will probably be bad before it starts.
What I hear in that moment is all the damage I do to myself all the time in every area of my life. What I hear in that moment is me saying ‘oh please, tell me that I’m okay, because here is the reason it’s not as good as it could be, but I promise I can be better’. Begging for validation. Apologising for not being perfect. Apologising for using your time on something that you might not think is worthwhile. Saying quietly, I think I am not enough.
And so listening back, instead I want to say sorry for saying sorry. I didn’t share this to prove I could sing. I shared this to share how much joy singing gives me irrespective of how I sound. So even if I did sound terrible (which I don’t), there was no need to apologise and make excuses.
I am enough.
I don’t believe it yet but I know it to be true.
Sometimes that is courage. The quiet whisper. To keep going. To share anyway. To forgive ourselves.
Your knees have been built on quiet whispers/ foundations sliding into songs that lose their voice mid crescendo/ perfect//