They are ever so lovely, those voices crooning from behind microphones, bellowing from bodies wrapped in spandex and sequins and sometimes very little at all. Their words are music and their presence seems to grip the hearts of hearers with an ease that makes you cringe when you think of how small your voice sounds in your own ears, how unappealing your message feels even deep within your own heart.
I’ve felt that way, too.
I’ve watched them dance and sing and speak and win fans in a five-minute performance when most days for me it feels like climbing a mile-high mountain getting one blog post written or sharing my own story or facing a tiny crowd to sing a borrowed song.
Sometimes I feel like an imposter. I can’t command an audience like that, so what’s the point?
Then there are days like yesterday when a woman I hadn’t seen in months walks up to me and places her hand on my shoulder and says, “I read your blog. I follow your life through your words, and I want you to know that I read your story and it’s like I know you, feel your heart, understand your story. When you write, I can see who you really are and it makes me want to share who I am, too.”
And suddenly there’s a ray of hope that breaks through the cloud of comparison.
Because really, I wouldn’t want to dress like those performers or dance the way they do. That isn’t me. That may be their stories, but it isn’t mine. And maybe it isn’t their story at all—maybe in reality it is a façade to cover what they’d rather the watching world not see.
I don’t want a façade. I want the world to see the real me.
And maybe that is what this whole thing is really about: me realizing that I don’t need to worry about how fancy or strikingly-clad or brightly lit my story is. Because it is simply mine.
And how amazing is it that I have the opportunity every single day to put myself out there, to show the real me without glitz or fanfare, to open myself up to everyday people who couldn’t relate to those Hollywood stars if they tried and who need a much more real and believable hand to hold on this journey.
I’m no prize-winning blue rose, but a tiny wildflower can bloom beautiful in a field of dry weeds.
Maybe the fact that I’m no celebrity makes me much more valuable to the millions out there who are anything but famous. People just like me. Maybe this little star doesn’t have to be blindingly brilliant to twinkle a smile in a hurting heart.
Perhaps in the end, it is the ordinary story that becomes extraordinary in its telling.
I’m willing to shine. Are you?
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A Write Where It Hurts column post