I am ...
I am … Afraid. I am afraid that my challenges aren’t sufficient to create change, at any level.
I am … Worried. I am worried that communicating my challenges may diminish those challenges I deem more worthy and credible.
I am … Unsure. I am unsure how to move forward without knowing that my voice, my challenges, my ideas, my self will create the kind of change I think is necessary to transform my community.
I am … Exposed. I am exposed to the truth of women I read about, see, connect with and am confronted by.
* * * * *
The simple truth is that I am the challenge to the change I so desperately want in this world. I see possibilities, and then I retreat, believing that my voice, my story isn’t enough to make a different. I witness suffering, and I quickly withdraw, because I think that others’ suffering is far greater than my own, which leaves me an impotent spectator. I hear stories – compelling stories! – from women who, every single day of their lives, do something – anything! – to make a difference no matter their circumstances, and I remove myself from the dialog because I feel like my voice won’t be heard among the chorus of authentic, courageous and steadfast “change agents” before me.
As I move through these feelings and beliefs, I get to a place where I see that the women by whom I seem to be intimidated are the very women who are the solution; the key to unlocking the chain of fear, doubt, and vulnerability that holds me captive and prevents me from making even the smallest of difference in my community. Every story, every journal entry I read opens my heart to the women behind them, which replaces the paralyzing chain by which I’ve been bound and, instead, fastens a new chain made of love, hope and the possibility of transformation.
PulseWire (and Web 2.0 generally) is the grease that will keep the chain well-oiled and malleable; it’s the conduit through which connection with women will be generated and maintained. I can’t know what’s ahead of me – of us – but I can say that with connection comes support, encouragement, discipline, tenacity, commitment and a future full of possibilities.
* * * * *
I am also …
Thankful. I am thankful for a network where our voices can be shared, heard, and appreciated.
Encouraged. I am encouraged by the strength and insight of the many women I have come to know through their stories.
Hopeful. I am hopeful for the future; a future filled with new friends and opportunities to make a difference – no matter how big or how small.
I am Me. I am a woman with a story, not to be compared or judged, but simply to be acknowledged. And I am a woman with a voice, not to be muted or dubbed over, but to be heard without criticism or ridicule.
[Post script: This was the most difficult assignment to work through – whew!]