Let us speak the words
Maya Angelou recalled, “I was ignorant of being ignorant. Then I became aware of being aware”. These words sum up a great turning point in my life, when I became crushingly aware of how much I did not know.
Having grown up in a rural community within the southeastern part of the United States of America, I have always sought to be in a service profession, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and a master’s in elementary education. While obtaining these degrees, I spent ten years in the world of non-profit development, seven of which were dedicated to raising funds for our state’s largest children’s hospital, where I led volunteer committees, planned fundraising events and built key relationships to engage the state behind our important mission. In my personal life, I have also served as a volunteer on several boards, the one closest to my heart being a community center which assists and works with refugee and immigrant families and youth.
I have always been a person who strives to roll up her sleeves, to listen to understand and to think outside the box in offering creative solutions and engaging the skills and passions of others around a shared, positive vision. I am still this person, and yet, my life’s purpose changed significantly when I had to face my own deep challenges.
Coming to terms with and overcoming my experience of childhood sexual abuse has been the battle of my life. It has made me re-examine all that I feel is important. There were times in my life when I simply could not speak the words I needed to. Today, I cherish that right of every human being as one of the most important ones we possess.
Our need and right to SPEAK; our need and right to BE HEARD. No one can ever take these possessions from us. And yet, all over the globe, every second of the day, people do. Where are these voiceless individuals and how can we hear them? What an amazing and important question to consider. Thankfully, World Pulse is asking it.
Most definitely, I feel a kinship with all people living in systems that are damaging to their bodies, minds and souls, who are striving for wholeness and working for change. I hope to somehow walk with them, listening to their stories, finding ways to hear, share, and speak the truth each of us knows.
Last fall, I made a huge decision. I felt strongly that my inner voice and, quite truthfully, the voice of Feminine Wisdom, was beckoning me to forge a different path, to think more broadly, to get outside of my comfort zone, to continue to fill the void of knowledge for which I ache and to find a way to share the abundance of knowledge on specific topics, which I have painfully acquired.
So, I resigned my job. I sold my condo and gave away many of my possessions. I took three months off to give myself something I have never had: time and space to still all that is swirling around me, to research where and how I could begin living into the next chapter of my life, to fulfill my true purpose. I still do not know exactly where the road will end; yet, the journey is proving to be quite amazing.
My specific research interests are in studying patriarchal systems and their impact on human and family development. I have applied to a number of graduate programs in women’s and gender studies and am hoping to begin this fall. Within this topic of study, I want to research child sexual abuse to assist in prevention and treatment efforts. I want to bring voice to this issue; I want to work for change.
In January, while applying to graduate programs, I took an internship at a university in the Middle East, working with young Arab women, many of whom are the first females in their families to pursue higher education. Half way through the semester, my mind and heart are filled with questions, and the experience is indeed opening my eyes to the complex global needs of and opportunities for women. I truly feel we are living at an amazing time in history. Perhaps, as women today, we have never been more poised to continue ushering in massive global change. World Pulse is a phenomenal force, empowering women to lead the way - together.
If selected as a board member to represent PulseWire, I would spend a lot of time reading about and responding to the experiences and concerns of PulseWire members. Indeed, I have my own passions, yet I feel the responsibility of this position would be to serve as a pitcher: receiving the stories of thousands of women from all over the globe, holding their voices – their wisdom and curiosity, their strength and vulnerability, their pain and anger, their creativity, resiliency and compassion - every precious last drop of who they are, and pouring out the themes of their stories to be shared with the World Pulse Board and others who need to hear them. Through discussion and idea exchange, strategies can be formed and action plans implemented.
The Native American proverb reminds us, “It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.” How many voices do we have? How many stories need telling? Let us find these answers.
LET US SPEAK THE WORDS.
To conclude, this World Pulse Board position is an incredibly important opportunity, and there are many who can do this job with grace and skill. I would be honored to serve the PulseWire community in this way, and yet, I support whole heartedly the person who the community deems best suited for this role.