For someone to be tried by a jury of their peers is to give each juror an equal voice in finding that person innocent or guilty. In 1981, as the mousy stay at home Mom of three, they summoned me to Jury Duty. It set me to thinking. It changed my life.
Most people avoid serving like the plague. I found it fascinating. I have been called two other times. My serving was unnecessary. I was called the last time a month ago and excused because of my approaching age. Fine. They have thrown me out of better places!
I’ve told the story before of how foolish I felt; I didn’t get to pick out my washing machine, but I had a say in if someone went to jail. I was twenty-nine years old. We had three children, nine, five, and two. I was deeply unhappy. I consciously knew I could not hold my kids back from living their lives to make me happy. I had to make changes. For the marriage, I chose counseling; he quit after a couple months. I continued until I filed for divorce.
It bears repeating. I see many women’s groups on Facebook about finding your voice. Family, society, and the era quieted my voice before I knew I had one. No more. I want to encourage women, children, and men to find and use their voices. I was a very late bloomer, and I had to be. You can only change your life if you are uncomfortable as you are. It sounds simple. It isn’t. Timing is everything.
Are you growing to realize your potential? Are you stuck? Is life less than it can be? Do you have a voice? Is it your voice or that of tradition, family expectation, or your parent’s dreams? Are you in there anywhere? You should be front and center in your own story, using your voice.
For nearly thirty years, I was a painfully shy girl. I’m no longer afraid to speak up. Every day, I can make my own choices. I raised my kids to do the same. We respectfully disagree and go on. They know we communicated in a way which differed from other families they knew. I’m proud of that.
Start today. When you have no choice, there is no voice; and there is no power. We want to be heard as women, as mothers, as daughters, and as people. Listen to others voice their powers, too. We’ll learn many fascinating things about each other. And we’ll all live our own great story.
Thank you for reading today. Look around you. Where are you? Are you where you want to be? Can you feel your power? It’s time to take it back. Don’t give it away. It’s yours to keep and use as the gift it is. Have a beautiful day. And we’ll see each other tomorrow.