Finding your voice: Something remarkable has happened over the past three weeks! I’ve found my voice! The remarkable thing is, I didn’t realize I had lost it. Where did it go? When did it go? Would I ever feel comfortable using contractions and pronouns again?! After 14 years of being trained in the art of “corporate speak”, it had become so natural that I never considered it. It’s a gradual process these voice takers use. One day you’re asked not to use pronouns. Two years later, they take your contractions. Finally, they aim right for the heart— your humor and sarcasm are not appreciated. Humor and sarcasm are not appreciated?! This was news to me! Reversing the brainwash: It takes approximately three weeks to reverse the symptoms of “corporate speak” brainwash. The first time I used a contraction, it felt dirty. I found myself avoiding the use of pronouns. I worked to craft really good acronyms out of the key points of my Facebook updates. I sanitized my writing of humor. And I trained my children well. Sure, my children have great vocabularies and speak in the Associated Press style. It impresses the teachers, but doesn’t make for good trash talk on the football field. It’s just not intimidating to hear the defensive tackle say, “Our team is going to harm you.” We’re going to work on that. Here’s the thing— I enjoy humor! I enjoy a little sarcasm! If you didn’t use contractions, you’d sound like a robot or a Stepford Wife, neither of which appeals to me. And people sound crazy when they speak about themselves in the third person. So, “corporate speak” is hereby banished from my personal life. Contractions, pronouns and humor are back in style! It seems to be working: Since I’ve allowed myself the freedom to use my own voice, something even more remarkable has happened. I’ve heard from friends and strangers alike that I should pursue writing professionally. Wow. I guess contractions and pronouns look good on me!  It feels great to hear my own voice again. Since finding my voice and writing that blog four months ago, I’ve discovered a sense of freedom. It’s the freedom that comes with being true to myself. It turns out the best you is the authentic you. Regardless of your career, I encourage you to take a little time to explore and connect with your authentic self. I think you’ll find it looks good on you!]]>