In this age of search engine optimization, my husband says my pen name should be Danielle Stephen James Patterson King Steele. It is tempting to ride the coattails of the already popular as I try to get discovered in the universe of everyone.
Then again, cover bands don’t change the world.
A friend told me she finally started reading this blog. “I can really hear your voice when I read it.”
I sound like me! Hooray!
That has not always been my goal. A lot of the time, mostly in my professional life, I have tried hard to sound like someone else. I wanted to appear and sound like the perfect generic person who had the job I was trying to get or who would get promoted in the job I had.
I knew that I would have to tuck a lot of things in and stand very still. Nobody else looked and acted like me.
Nobody sounded like me.
Tighten up and screw it down. Smooth out the edges. As a matter of fact, just don’t talk.
Try as I might, I kept slipping. People knew I was different.
Of course that whole time I had my notebooks, and the words I would only say in writing.
I could tell I didn’t sound like anyone else. And so I figured I had an audience of one: me. I made myself laugh and I made myself think. It gave me a release from the depersonalization of my job.
A small group of friends started to read it. They kind of already knew me. I trusted them to enjoy my writing too.
As time passed I heard, “How do you find time to write?”
“How do you find time to pee?” I replied. This was not something I an option. It must find release.
There are phrases for this: Find your voice! Speak your truth!
Once, after a weekly wonder, a reader sent me this email, “Some day you’re going to write something that changes the entire world. I hope I’m here to see it.”
Oh, me too.
This is what I do, put sentences together and string ideas in a row like popcorn for a Christmas tree.
I know and I deeply trust that every single one of us has our thing, our voice and truth that we get to express.
Not every voice is booming and imperative. Many of them are still and small.
We are not supposed to be the same. The more we learn to be the most SELF we can be, the more beautifully we will create the world.
That’s how it all began. Remember? Let there be light.
And it is good.