In the 60s, “finding yourself” meant seeking enlightenment from gurus, becoming a hippie, and taking LSD. (My children are now gasping.) Relax. I did none of those things. Neither did I learn to play the sitar or decipher “I Am the Walrus.” I grew up in Wichita, Kansas, played on the church volleyball team, and tolerated dozens of little league games for my three younger brothers. I was a clueless member of the middle class in Middle America.
My childhood was idyllic: my brothers and I walked around the neighborhood barefoot in the summertime, we peddled The Grit door-to-door, and Mom took us to the library every week and insisted that we read every day. I recently read as much as I could stand of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe and got a better idea of what it actually meant to be “enlightened” in those days. I have no regrets about missing out on that.
What does “finding yourself” mean today – to me? Because I have dipped my toe into the writing world via this blog, I’ve been challenged to find and develop my voice – my brand. I’ve been advised to nurture a genuine and honest style of writing that reflects who I am and connects with my audience. If I find my voice will I find myself? Well, that’s way too existential for me.
I’m approaching a landmark birthday. (Ok, let me be genuine and honest. I’ll be sixty in December.) I have experienced a few things – some awful, many wonderful, and my brothers are now also my friends. This isn’t my first barn dance, as my dad would say. And, I’ve discovered that my “voice” has been staring me in the face for quite a while. Though this blog lives on a page of my freelance editing business website (thank you, Jane), I am embracing my 60ish point-of-view about life, blogging about it, and including a liberal sprinkle of editing advice on top. Beware.
“I was so much older then. I’m younger than that now.” ~Bob Dylan