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Emerging from the shadows

For most of my life I have seen myself as the invisible strength that allows others to shine. Always taking the backstage role, making sure the stars had clean underwear and plenty to eat. Well maybe not quite so literally but I always made sure the organisation of any meeting or event went smoothly, the background papers were ready, the coffee was hot and cleared up at the end. I also met the deadlines found the funding made the contacts … whatever I needed to do to make things happen. And I was happy to do that. For me the important thing was for a good outcome for the people I was doing it for. My work in community development meant that positive outcomes made people’s lives better, sometimes saved lives. So I felt my role was important, I didn’t care who got the limelight as long as the results were good.
As I have got older I have found that my role is even more invisible. In my personal life I became a wife, mother, carer. Rarely seen as an individual in my own right. It is only now that I am alone that I have realised how much I used this to hide my fears and insecurities. From sitting my first exams I have avoided disappointment by assuming failure although I have very rarely have fulfilled this expectation.
Now I have come into the light, I am no longer living in shadows but standing up for my beliefs and fighting against the injustices I find. I am empowered. I am me!
I still enjoy watching others take centre stage and receive the bouquets but now I want to be up there with them and not watching from the side, selling the programmes. My vision for my community is for women to feel empowered to stand up and be counted, to speak for their beliefs, to be equal amongst others while still nurturing and caring for their loved ones and the vulnerable and to enjoy both roles just the same.
Using new technology to bring together a community of interest which has the power to form and change opinions, broaden horizons and change the lives of women everywhere is incredibly exciting. For the first time the voices of women are being brought together organically, not to reflect any agenda or philosophy in itself but that reflects all the diverse interests and beliefs of participants from across the world in one place. Being a part of that amazing community is a humbling experience but one that also gives me strength to reach out and grow.
I want to be a Voices of Our Correspondent so that I can reach out to empower others and give them the power to change their world, to share my own experiences and enlightenment. I don’t have any amazing story to tell, no great tragedy or horrific news but I do have something to say and a need to share that with all the women who are invisible. It is the quiet revolution of women emerging from the shadows of life and the beginning of a new life where the sun shines brightly and the world listens.


CaitlinLO_Brien's picture

Beautiful description of life

Beautiful description of life as you see it! I am glad to hear that you are striving toward taking the centre stage!

One of Many's picture

strong voice !

Dear Liz:

Thanks for your writing! It sounds like you have empowered yourself, as you have matured and achieved perspective from all your experience. Of course this is not to say you didn't have perspective before, but as another mature woman, I know that our perspectives can shift hugely through the years.

Your writer's voice is so strong and skilled, that it was very enjoyable to read this post. Bravo and congratulations!


Speaking my Peace

ck's picture


Dear Liz,

What a beautiful essay! Being invisible is a kind of tragedy - one that underlies many of the more concrete tragedies that affect women. It sounds like you have done wonderful things in spite of being in the background, but how wonderful that you are stepping up to take your place on stage.

I wish you all the best and trust that your vision is so clear that it will become your reality, if it isn't already.

Thank you,



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