When you feel deflated

“He’s about your age, Aunt Amy, about 60.”

I laughed and laughed and laughed.  She whacked my arm in embarrassment since my utter hysterics indicated her accuracy, or lack-there-of. I’m as close to 60 as I am to 30, that is, not very. It serves me right for asking a niece to judge a person’s age. A Sunday School teacher was having a birthday and the question I posed was, is he about my age or Grandma and Grandpa’s?

The prompt this week at Velvet Ashes is “voice” – what does age have to do with voice? In writing it’s important to sound like yourself and not like someone else. That’s called voice.

It’s the same in life.

It’s important to be yourself. To be your “real” age. To walk in your own shoes. Not to try to be as interesting, funny, smart, good looking, or have the language ability of X.

Might you need to keep growing? Sure. I’m not saying to just sit on your fanny and do nothing.

I know when I try to write like this blogger or that author, there is a falseness to it. A forcedness. When I picture talking to one of you and just write I’m more likely to sound like me.

It is hard to be yourself, sometimes, isn’t it? I want to be lovely like Emily P. Freeman. And while I’m many things, I’m no Emily P. Freeman. And then there is Emily Thomas who has the sense of humor of a firecracker. (Maybe I need to change my name to Emily, maybe that’s the hidden life lesson.) Or deep and insightful like Tanya Marlow, which blows my name theory. I’m not a mom, I don’t craft, I haven’t saved any lives recently, and my cooking skills are adequate (not really the most inspiring adjective, is it?).  And on and on the list goes.

Deflated souls

What was the operative word of that list? No, not. If I look at all the things, I’m not, and will never be because they are related to personality and preference, not character or personal growth or sin, I feel like a deflated balloon.

But if you want to know who screamed like a wounded wildebeest at the last Broncos game and I’m sure helped in distracting Philip Rivers and leading to a victory. I’m your woman.

Or, when pressed by nieces as to my favorite animals. Do you mean domesticated or wild? BOTH. Then you will find someone who loves guinea pigs and … OK, I forget my favorite wild animal, showing I may not actually have one.

Or if you need someone to remind you of the marvels of pi, just you wait until Pi Day this year! I’ve been gathering more cartoons and videos and delighting afresh on God ability to be present in unexpected places.

Or if you’d like to know a good memoir, I might just have a list for you.

Or talk about China, do you have, like, five hours?!

And guess what, the list of who I am, what MY voice is, flew out of me. It was fun to write and I feel a bit excited and like I might grab the guy to my left and in the library and hug him because I feel alive. When I was thinking about those Emilys and that Tanya– two of whom are my friends and I really like —I was deflated. And isn’t this what the enemy of our souls wants? If not to defeat us, to deflate us.

So, stop thinking about the Emilys and Tanyas in your life. And they will stop thinking about you. Be  you, the you were made to me. And if that involves sounding like wounded animals, so be it :)!

What’s your voice? When do you most sound like you? What’s your favorite animal (yes, both domestic and wild!)

Photo credit StayRAW via flickr

Linking up with The Grove at Velvet Ashes. Word prompt: Voice

Voice copy


  1. Amy, I loved this piece! I love hearing your voice in my head when I read your words.

    I guess I sound most like me when I’m talking to students. I’ve spent most of my life in the classroom, so I guess that’s not surprising. I also sound like me when I play with my nieces and nephews. I so enjoy using my voice to encourage them to use theirs.

    Recently the sound of my own voice has taken me by surprise. I’ve said or done things and then almost turned around to see who else was in the room. :) Just like a 13 year old boy this 40 something year old woman’s voice is changing. Thanks be to God!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Hey, Amy — guinea pigs are wild too, so you covered both with one answer. Excellent!

    Love you.

    • OH Elizabeth, you make me so glad that Cappybaras aren’t my favorite wild animal … the thought of them being domesticated creeps me out :)!!!

  3. “Be the you, you were made to be” Encouraging!

  4. Domesticated – Appaloosa. I love horses, just about all horses, but I particularly like the markings on an Appaloosa.
    Wild – bald eagle. There are several nests of bald eagles near where I grew up – Eagle Point, Oregon. :-)

    My voice – when do I most sound like me? When I’m doing any number of things with music: conducting, teaching, writing, listening, singing.

    Oh, and by the way, Amy, I’ve finally figured out my one word for this year, instead of the whole phrase that I told you earlier. I was finally able to boil it down to one word – SING!

    Yeah, really surprised you there, didn’t I? :-)

    • All of this brings joy to read! YOu mention animals I haven’t thought of in ages and your one word is PERFECT!! :) … and no, not much of a surprise :)

  5. I love how you covered being yourself while writing! It can be intimidating to read others’ writings and feel as though your own words aren’t enough or aren’t as eloquent or quirky.

    I look forward to reading your page!
    Anna Craig recently posted…Comment on Finding My Voice by AnnaMy Profile

  6. YES!! When you try to sound like someone else, it is sooo deflating. But let your own voice ring out, and you really truly feel alive!

    Oh, and I’m adding “Go to a Broncos game with Amy” to my bucket list. :)
    Danielle recently posted…Waiting for the “Some Day” to Share My VoiceMy Profile

  7. Mark Allman says:

    I was pulling for the Packers and the Saints so I am left with cheering for Manning or Brady. It should be a great game. It was nice to see you mention Tanya here. I appreciate so much what she has to share and how she does so much even with her dealing with M. E. full time. I guess I like dogs best.

    • I was cheering for those teams too … and yes, this Sunday should be a good game. And isn’t Tanya one of the most delightful and amazing people. I’ve also learned a lot about ME from her. Oh dogs, well, it could be worse ;)

  8. You know what? I really needed this today.

    I’m surprised and touched, lovely lady.
    And you are my Emilys and Tanya too. (That was a really weird thing to write).

    And LET’S SKYPE!! X
    Tanya Marlow recently posted…On bidding goodbye to a difficult yearMy Profile

  9. Amy, I loved the balloon analogy and the reminder to just be myself. Thanks for your much needed words today.

  10. Oh, I just loved this…and need the reminder. And just so you know, Amy, I hear your voice every time I read one of your posts, no joke!
    Holly recently posted…Get Out and NoticeMy Profile

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