I am a huge fan of Mythology, Legend, Folklore, and anything else that is mystical with a dash of truth. I recall reading a story in Greek Mythology about a nymph named Echo, who was cursed by the Goddess Hera after Zeus (her unfaithful husband) took a liking to the nymph. After the curse, Echo is never able to speak her own mind again, she can only repeat the words of others. An unfortunate fate, as anyone would agree. So why do some of us choose to bestow this curse upon ourselves?
A month or so ago, amidst a cloud of jet lag, I read a post about deciding whether you want to find your own voice, or mimic another’s (The former is obviously preferable, however I have been guilty of the latter). The author spoke about her dismay when discovering that a follower had been echoing words and phrases from her writing style. She then confronted the accused and asked her to find her own Voice. Moreover, I believe this can happen in every aspect of life, not just as a writer. (If I can remember where I found this post I will link it here)
I have been guilty of being an Echo on many occasions. Of course, it happened unintentionally in a time when I was not very fond of myself and became trapped in a fog of teenage angst and insecurity. The natural result was meekly copying the traits I admired in others. I was so absorbed in who they were, that I forgot about my own talents and skills. My collection ranged from friends and acquaintances to book characters and virtual presences on websites.
Sometimes I would put my focus on one specific friend and want to be exactly like them, from handwriting to dress sense. This was a misguided attempt to show my admiration for their soul. It took some time but I eventually came to the conclusion that you can love someone’s being without trying to become it.
Following people on Instagram and Facebook, liking posts and pictures, watching YouTube videos. It won’t get me very far if I continue to live in their worlds without making my internal one a reality.
I have an entirely fictional version of myself in my head. It has been there for the longest time. I think it’s time to finally bring her to life, without taking so much inspiration from Doctor Frankenstein. Parts of others will not give you a happy life.
It has been the entire twenty years of my life, but I am finally able to be fully comfortable as a Voice, rather than shards of various Echo’s. For the past two decades I was haphazardly strewn together, not quite fitting in a comfortable way. It’s not a fun way to live, to always think ‘what would so-and-so do or say or think or wear in this situation’.
Why not just decide what I want to do or say or think or wear. Until finally, the long awaited Epiphany – my Voice is a mosaic, a collection of diverse traits and attributes that when apart are common, but when together form the uniqueness of Me.
I have recently began making a lot of lists in my spare time on holiday. They have been therapeutic.
- Habits (breaking the bad and starting the good),
- Things to do,
- Places to go,
- Stuff to buy,
- And so on…
Most importantly, these lists are a compilation of the kind of person I would ideally like to be. Everything is based on introspection and the things I love in the world, not on someone else’s perfect idea of life. This newly discovered state of mind has been so helpful in deciding what I want to change in order to improve my life and my being.
A few days ago I got my first tattoo. It is of a Lotus Unalome. The lotus has various meanings ranging from purity and devotion, to ascension and enlightenment, depending on the colour. The unalome represents the struggles of life (spirals) while it leads to harmony and enlightenment (straight line).
I got the tattoo because I love symbolism, and this specific combination appeals to me on an emotional and spiritual level, and I would like to keep these ideals with me forever. It also collaborates well with my decision to identify as an Omnist and accept certain truths from all religions (I was so excited when I discovered this word existed because I was struggling to explain to people when they ask me whether I’m religious or not. How do you say you believe in all and none of them at the same time?), rather than say that I’m Agnostic or Atheist, when I wasn’t really, but I didn’t have an hour to spare to explain what I believe.
I am still determined to continue staying in my realm of fantasy, however, and I have been trying to implement it more and more into the tangible parts of my reality. I have never really had one sense of style or fashion and people like to label those two. So I decided to call my life and style Whimsical. I think it suits me and my scatterbrain. It also emphasises my attachment to the weird and wonderful and, naturally, the whimsical.
Fairy-tales, teddy bears, witches, fairy lights, pink, lace, tattoos, ribbons, glitter, wings, mermaids, the moon …. The list goes on, and they all are a part of my fascination with the magical and otherworldly. They might not all seem to fit together in reality, but in fantasy they do. I’m resolute to make fantasy my new reality.
So far, my discovery of my Voice has been gratifying as well as entertaining. I feel like I’m a character in a book who is busy creating her own characteristics and story-line. That is how it should be after all. I am my own protagonist and author, and the rights to my Voice are my own.