Honoring Your Voice

Aren’t we all just out here looking for connection? I mean, what is the purpose of people without the intimacy of connection?

I think about connection a lot and how we gravitate towards one another is even more fascinating. Did you ever stop and wonder how or why you feel connected to some people? Is it your likes or differences that create that bond? Both?

Loads of questions, but my deep interest in people, emotion and connection is what’s inspired this post.

I intend to always be a platform that honors the voice and experiences of all people because that is who I am. I find deep meaning to life in those conversations and experiences where I meet someone new and learn there is an entire ocean beneath the surface.

Some of you reading this may connect with this, but I’m not really one for small talk. Don’t get me wrong, I will always engage, but I am more invested in conversations where I can take away something and learn through the other person’s experience.

I have had so much feedback over the last (almost six years) of the blog and the commonality that I hear is, people feel safe and supported in this community. They feel heard and respected and in my opinion, that is the purpose of this connection. From the collaborations to the podcast episodes, the majority of you have never met the people I interview, yet you find yourself connected to them in some way.

Growing older has been such a gift. I feel like my twenties has been a never-ending performance on the battlefield (almost daily) from the time I was 19 to 29. It’s been ten deeply evolutionary years where I have fought to feel seen.

I didn’t always feel seen. For those who put on their glasses or popped in their contacts, thank you for seeing me. Thank you for giving me purpose.

I’d say this experience was what shifted the blog. I wanted to be the one to make people feel seen. I saw there was a need for realness and authenticity in our local community and I wanted to create a place where the stories of some of the most amazing local people could share their story.

I’m grateful I grew up in a small town. It was the foundation for me, but I knew I wanted the structure I built on that foundation to look different from what I knew. I knew staying on the southern expectation ferris wheel left me feeling empty and unfulfilled. I felt we were getting no where and it was time for the voices within our area to be heard authentically.

It takes courage to be honest. It takes courage to acknowledge the not so ideal parts of life and admit how those changed us fundamentally. When I think about the people I have met through this platform, it wasn’t the big moments that got them to where they are…it was all of the little dots in between.

There have been SO many times where I remind myself that all of those little dots got me here too. If I hadn’t stumbled (more like face-planted) over and over and over again, I wouldn’t have this level of empathy for people. I wouldn’t have learned how to problem solve and do everything I can to create a cultural shift in my community.

I wouldn’t be humble for my blessings knowing the WORK it took to receive them.

My BEST qualities and the qualities I love most about myself were a product of working through hardship. So why wouldn’t I honor the voice that got me here? Why wouldn’t I feel compelled to honor the voices of all of you around me who have inspired this platform?

Every shared experience is helping to aid in my healing and at the root of healing is acknowledgment. So here is my acknowledgement and ode to the HG community for being a consistent place that honors our voices.

4 thoughts on “Honoring Your Voice

  1. Jess… You are wise beyond your 29 years, my friend, and I am so proud of the young woman you have grown to become. Keep writing, blogging, and podcasting… I will always be here to cheer you on!!! Go, Jess!!!

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