Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Voices Voices

“You have all these different voices that come out in your writing.”
I laughed. “Joan of Arc and I, hearing voices.”
Natalie is my speech coach. I went to her for help in becoming a better speaker. Shortly after we started working together, she urged me to make an audio book out of my book “But My Brain Had Other Ideas.” She thought I could do a really good job.
We met a couple of days after I sent her a recording of me reading a piece about my first case of sensory overload. I had no idea that I’d just suffered a brain bleed, and had no clue what sensory overload was. I thought I was going mad.
Natalie discussed the inner voices in the essay. She named them: the reporter, the panicky one, the voice of reason.
I am currently writing an essay about the evolution of my voice, of growing into the authentic me. I’m finding it challenging—I keep going back and forth, trying to figure out which is my voice. Am I still that person who became so passionate about dragon boating? Or is my road a quieter one, the one of a yogini? Will I become passionate about yoga? Does passion define my voice?
The questions percolated throughout my days, and sometimes at night.
Natalie’s words resonated with me, but I wasn’t sure where they fit in the puzzle. I spoke to Judy, my writing coach about it, and I tried to listen to myself.
I came to the conclusion that I often hold conversations with myself, though they are not always verbal. I am most aware of them when the bloody brain rears its ugly head, and certainly when I write, when the observer in me is in the forefront of my mind.
But which is my voice? Perhaps my voice is  a combination of the voice that leads to caution, the voice that leads to recklessness, and the one that seeks a bigger picture, questioning my motivations and my emotions. There’s also the voice that tries to understand the world around me and my place in it, and the voice that continues to search for a new voice. And, of course, keeping track of everything, is the observer in me.
I also came to the conclusion that since the surgeries and since I started writing in earnest, I have become more aware of my voices. I am a better listener than I used to be. There is, however, one voice that I am often reluctant to acknowledge—the demanding voice of the bloody brain, the one that tells me to slow down, or else.
Yet through the voice of the bloody brain, I have discovered a whole new world, a world of many voices. Some through defying the bloody brain, others through compromising with it, and of course, through complying with it.
I have discovered, and continue to discover, me, my voice.