Submitted Date 03/11/2019

All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself.” --Ralph Ellison

In order to recognize your individuality and your self-identity, you must be willing to find your voice- and proclaim it. I am not encouraging you to jump on every soap box that you see to purge out your opinions as though your voice were God. However, there is power in knowing your voice and understanding its value. We often times use everyone else’s words and perception instead of our own. Your voice is just as worthy as the next person. Swallowing your voice can be the reason why someone else did not find their own light. Muzzling your own voice can be the reason why a misunderstanding is bigger than it needs to be.Your voice needs to be heard. We are one collective with various narratives saying one thing:

I exist.

Without your voice, there is a 100% chance that no kind of change could be made. Without your voice people will not understand you at all. Your voice is your platform to express your yearning for transformation. Finding your voice and firmly standing your ground is imperative, especially in today’s society more than ever.

Your voice is significant, and it matters. It is the first clear guard for others to recognize your boundaries. Your voice allows others to grasp where you stand on current events, taboos and social issues. You could be the reason why someone decides to take heed to the world around her/him.

In today’s era that has embodied social media as the main source of communication, opinions are flying around like a food fight in a Jr. High School cafeteria! However, you can use your voice to set a tone of joy, conviction and focus. You can choose to use your voice to spread toxicity within our community or uplift us. The choice is yours. There is power with knowing your voice. Choose wisely as to how you will utilize it on social media, in person and most importantly, within yourself.

As a poet, I can utilize my voice in a creative fashion to uplift, enlighten and cause a few chuckles. I have chosen to share my voice and personal life lessons to remind people that they are not alone. I still have my moments where I hesitate to speak or feel the unction to silence myself for the comfort of others. Nevertheless, I remember that my voice is as imperative as the next person. My voice, my creative expression of the message needs to be heard even if it may ruffle a few feathers or cause a few stones my way.

When speaking up for yourself and using your powerful voice, others may attempt to muzzle you. No matter what, your unique voice is meant to be heard despite the negativity that surrounds you. There are many who hog conversations, scream out and bellow a popular voice that isn’t their own. GroupThink is a nasty little vermin in our society, but you do not have to join the mob. Don’t allow the masses to engulf your views on equality, justice and respect for others. You don’t have to appease bullies. Use your voice. Some may attack you for speaking the truth on matters that force them to reconsider their unethical actions. Speak up anyway.

In Audre Lorde’s poem, A Litany for Survival:

So it is better to speak


we were never meant to survive.

Utilize your voice to state your boundaries, your dreams, your truth, your narrative, your thoughts on the injustices around you. You are worthy to be heard. There is joy in finding your voice. It gives you more confidence and freedom within yourself to be your unapologetically. I dare you to speak, even if it goes against the grain.


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