Life throws us clues to get ourselves out of a jam.
Sometimes events happen at the right time and place in our lives. While we are busy being busy and filling our minds up with self-doubt and anxiety, life throws us a clue. If we aren’t receptive to change, we will certainly miss that clue. But if we can keep your ears open and our mouth closed, we may just luck out and capture it.
For a while now (a little over two months), I have struggled to find my writing voice. I can see it with the visits and likes heading south and the overall energy from friends and family who read this blog subsiding. I am struggling to maintain an active blog community simply because I do not know who I am without pain in my life and then writing about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I have never been more happy with my life and the balance that I have achieved. I am super happy with the accomplishments and work that I have done in ridding myself of being sexually abused as a child over the past decade, but when it comes to writing about life, I am still very new to this. But aren’t we all?
This weekend I had the great opportunity to attend Blog Jam, a conference of speakers talking about blogging, branding and online marketing. I signed up for this conference six months ago even before I knew who the speakers were going to be. I am a blogger, and therefore I felt I should attend this event. I am always searching for knowledge on the subject and for it to be in my backyard, I have to go!
When the schedule was announced, I immediately looked for topics that would relate to blogging and SEO related information. Being an experienced blogger but a newly minted content writer at my job, I needed to brush up on my marketing expertise. So, I lined myself up to attend all topics related to my field. That was until I got to the event.
People often come from nowhere to lead you in the right direction.
When I got to the registration desk, I was greeted by Ruth Ann Swansburg who owns the blog Everything Unscripted. Her name was familiar to me as she had just recently joined The Roaming Mind’s Facebook group. As the morning rolled on at Blog Jam, I noticed that she too was speaking at the event. Her talk was titled “Who Are You? A Look Behind The Scenes”. It was about how writing from our truth can connect us to our readers. Instantly, I took notice and decided to listen. I needed this right now.
Sure enough, as she spoke about how we must connect with our audience with our stories and our personalities, I began to put the pieces together with the problem that I am having right now with my audience. At the end of her presentation, she had us take a few moments and jot down what labels we give ourselves, what we enjoy doing or what we are good at and finally the struggles that we face. This exercise moved me.
It didn’t take me long to confirm with myself that even though I may be through the pain of my past, my audience is not; they are still in pain. As I wrote down my labels, one of them stood out “sexual abuse survivor.” The things that I am good at were: “writing, accepting change and sharing my pain.” It was when I got to writing my struggle that’s what put it all together for me, I simply wrote: “myself (my inner voice).”
I came away from Blog Jam with a renewed sense of who I am and what I should be sharing with the world. Childhood sexual abuse is more common than I realize yet from a man’s perspective, it is rarely shared or discussed; at least not enough. So many men suffer in silence from sexual abuse and either recontinue the cycle as they normalize their internal feelings or they lead sickened and unhappy lives trying to bury the pain.
I learned that when I speak my truth, it gives others courage.
There was a quote that one speaker shared that I didn’t write down (and I kick myself for not), but it went along the lines of “I learned that when I speak my truth, it gives others courage.” This stuck in my head. While I have learned in the past that when I speak about my past, it gives others courage. But what I failed to realize that just because I learned that I can do this, I must continue to apply it.
Thank you Blog Jam Atlantic for an excellent and inspiring event and thank you, Ruth Ann, for greeting me at the registration desk. We never know how one small action can change the course of another person’s life. I guess that is why we must continue to speak and share our truth.
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*Header image and Blog Jam logo were innocently stolen from https://www.blogjamatlantic.ca/