I’m going to make an embarrassing confession:
I’ve imagined all the ways I would find out I had won a Voices of The Year. They may have included a hairbrush and a practiced speech, because go big or go home. Others were a little more elaborate than I care to admit, but I have desperately wanted to, since I found out that this award existed, one day win one.
For the record, I also want to be on CBC’s The Next Chapter one day too, but baby steps.
Since 2012, I’ve been submitting to BlogHer for Voices Of The Year. I like to think I’ve become more refined in my selection process since then. I also like to think that I’ve gotten better at writing but even when I was unsure of my pieces, I still submitted.
Eventually though, I began to believe that I wasn’t cut out for this award. This year in particular began a line of questioning about whether it was time to pack this dream up and go another way. This space almost was shut down, permanently.
When he learned that I was feeling this way, my husband asked me what I was afraid of. It’s not the first time he’s asked me this and I know it won’t be the last, thankfully. Typically, I’d respond that he didn’t get it because he’s not one of us creative types. This last time, after I’d learned he won, he asked me again. This time, I answered honestly:
I’m afraid that I’m not worthy of success. I’m afraid of more rejection, but mostly, I’m afraid of what I could do. What if I do something incredible with my words? What if people see me? I mean, not just see me, but what if they really see me and it’s still not enough. What if I am just nothing more than a fraud who accidentally came upon some success?
It’s just so much easier, safer, to daydream of success. But it’s also destructive,unfair and most importantly, boring as fuck.
Even though I submitted again this year, I figured it was categorically shelved on Never Going To Ever Happen.
What is it that they say…When you aren’t looking for something, you finally find it?
I won BlogHer’s 2016 Voices of The Year..
And of course, it’s about adoption.
Grieving With My Daughter Over The Son I Couldn’t Keep is by far one of the most raw and intense pieces I’ve written. Ever. I cried each time I wrote, edited or looked at it; I was essentially cutting myself open to create it. It took me a month to gather enough courage to sit at my keyboard and write it out. It took me another month and push from a good friend to edit it and then submit it for publication.
That’s life when you write (or live it, really) about adoption. If I want to be heard through the loud voices determined to drown out a birth mother like me out, I have to bleed my words out, I have to hold my heart, ripped out of my chest, in my hands so I can be seen. Those of us entrenched in adoption, specifically adoptees and birth mothers, know that if we want to be heard over the loudest voices, this is what we must do. We must bleed to take a slice of the narrative, we must break our hearts over and over again to be heard.
I don’t know if it’s worth it, but today, I feel vindicated to some degree. My voice has been heard. It hasn’t been silenced. Not this time.
Thank you for reading my words. Even the ones that aren’t much. Thank you for reading all of them.
Thank you for hearing me. Thank you for sharing my words. Thank you for pushing me to learn more, to be more and to say more.
Thank you for seeing me. Thank you for loving me despite. Thank you for encouraging me when I’ve lost sight.