Today, I voted. I dropped my ballot in the mail and went to work. As the midterms approach, there’s a growing amount of media messaging reminding people to get out and vote. Obviously, I support these efforts and encourage any of my U.S.-based readers to do the same. But thinking about my ballot tonight made me wonder why we’re so adamantly vocal around election time yet relatively quiet the rest of the year?
People will say, “but it’s my duty to vote.” What about the duty we have to use and share our voices just in general?
That’s why I decided to post this today. I’ve been feeling bad about not writing here because I often fear that what I have to say isn’t worth sharing. If it’s not super inspiring or insightful, it’d be better off unsaid, right?
I’m not so sure any more. Just open Instagram and you can scroll yourself silly through other people’s inspiring gym selfies, healthy meals, and luxury vacation photos. But seeing all these “perfect photos” doesn’t make me feel better, it actually makes me feel worse. These things are toxic.
I think the point I’m trying to make is this idea of not letting other people be the final judge. When you withhold your voice because you fear judgement, you give away all the power. To me, the reason voting is powerful is because even though the result might not work out the way I want, I still did my part by casting my vote.
I’m embarrassed to admit I haven’t been fulfilling my part of writing here as frequently as I once hoped but I’m glad I was reminded by all the election hoopla to just show up again. Having a voice and something to say is both a gift and responsibility. It’s important to use your voice not just when called upon or when the results will be favorable. Speak up not just for yourself, but also for those who never had or will have the same opportunity. Today, I will be heard.