Our mission:

Read about A Voice of One's Own, where it came from, where it's going, and how you can join its chorus of love here!!

Also, feel free to contact us at voiceofonesown@gmail.com. Guest posting and new writers are not only welcomed, but encouraged, so please feel invited to send us a little taste of your voice :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

uninspired? or over-inspired?

So I may or may not have some serious writer’s block. What’s up with that? I wasn’t aware that I ever ran out of things to say. I suppose in some ways I didn’t since I am sitting here typing away about my inability to write. I tried to write about why I love human beings, why I love life, the things that make me smile uncontrollably, but nothing I wrote could fully express either the visuals or the joy that they give me. I couldn’t do any of it justice. Even now, I feel like I can’t express the inexpressible nature of my joy. How do you just sum up what makes you glow? How do you sum up the glory that is humanity? How do you describe the indescribable?

I also tried to write about my sisters. I ran into a similar problem. If you think I could ever put in words everything I love about my sisters in a way that would give you a fraction of an idea of my love for them, you clearly haven’t met them. I thought about publically writing to each of them, thanking them for all they have done for me, but I didn’t even know where to begin, and whenever I tried to begin, I was not satisfied with anything I wrote. Instead I have decided to complain to you about the limitations of words…

I love words. So freaking much. There is poetry I love so deeply that I weep at the sheer sight of it on a page. But, alas, words strong enough to describe certain aspects of life just don’t exist. I suppose I have been experiencing a lot of that lately. How do I describe my time in El Salvador? How do I describe the transformation it caused in me? How do I describe how socially awkward it’s made me? How do I describe how hard I’m trying to remember that I really am constantly in the presence of the divine? How do I describe how meaningless certain aspects of my life seem in comparison to the aspects that nourish me so deeply? How do I describe my love for the people in my life? How do I describe my love for my life itself? How do I describe the fire within me? Words are failing me. I am so on fire, I am so transformed, so intensely feeling, that I cannot find words to tell you much of anything right now. Although it’s kind of fantastic, hopefully one day soon I’ll settle back down and have something of use to say. Until then, I’ll be sending my love and channeling all this inspiration into my dreams.

i love you.


Friday, June 24, 2011


I don't know if mt has shared this video with you, she probably has. These past few weeks I've been in awe of my hands. Not in a weird, conceited and creepy way but in a "holy crap, I made that" kind of way. My absence from writing was a result of a super intense design class. On MWF from 9~4, I designed and I created. One of our projects was to actually build a mock-up of a package. As our teacher described the assignment, I had an enormous grin on my face. I looked like an idiot, I was equally excited and anxious at the thought of using my hands to bring my designs to life. But building and creating form was extremely empowering. Seeing my ideas and making my ideas come to life with my own hands gave me a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

I guess my point is that our hands are amazing and endless in their potential to create and make great things (and sometimes bad things). I have taken my hands for granted for 22 years so this is for them:

For all the nights you danced feverishly across my keyboard
For the times that I picked away your dry callouses
For the meals you have prepared
Wounds you have treated and healed
For the music you produced
The countless pieces of paper that cut you up
For the tender caress
For planting seeds that may one day bear fruit
For guiding me and others in the right direction
For your warmth
For touching lives

I thank you.

mt once said something along the lines of "I like to touch people to show them how much I love them." This is me touching all of you (with your permission of course).


Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'd be happy to take your picture

mt once told me that you can laugh with someone without having to speak the same language. It’s so interesting to look back on that moment. I thought to myself, “WOW, YES! That is so true,” but it never really hit me until I experienced it myself.

I took a hiatus from writing for a while because I went to Ireland for a semester. Let me tell you, it was amazing. I went to the Blarney Stone, naturally, and was able to see the beautiful Irish countryside with amazing lakes, rolling hills, and scenery so picturesque it could make you cry. I now understand what Yates and all Irish poets mean when they speak of Ireland as this breath-taking beauty. I sampled the local beverages from time to time, overindulged at other times, while having a great time and never caring about the time. I learned a lot about Ireland and Europe in my classes. I went to Spain, Italy, France, and other countries and loved every minute of it. I could spend hours writing about what I learned, felt, and experienced. I could talk about my new knowledge and appreciation of other cultures I found while traveling, but since having to write my immersion project I’ve been reflecting on my time abroad and have picked out moments that I think are the most special of all.

The moments involve pictures, laughs, and smiles. I’ll try to sum up all of Europe into what I think are the top three most beautiful sites i visited (you can imagine how hard this is) but I would say Corniglia in the lemon orchards, Nice looking down on the city, and La Rambla in Barcelona. Now I have a picture of all of these places, but the thing about pictures of yourself is that you have to ask people to take them for you, and when you travel in Europe, you don’t also find someone that speaks English. But the beautiful thing about it is everyone knows that when you walk up to them and hold out a camera, they want you to take a picture, and then you usually return the favor. What a delightful friendly system that is. You are storing memories of beautiful moments in the form of a picture and making friends in the process. I’ll never forget the faces of the people who I took pictures for and who took photos for me. You may not speak the same language, but beauty can act as a common language, and it’s perfect when you see it with your eyes and capture it in a picture.

In Barcelona they have street performers. There were two in particular that stick out in my mind. One was a headless man and the other was a baby in a carriage. Both times someone walked in front of the street performers and the performers scared the shit out of them. Everyone who was around started laughing. I looked around at people and people looked at me, and there was that moment of connection where you understand someone through laughter. It was nice to laugh with people. It felt good. I didn’t need to talk to them. I don’t even know if they spoke the same language as me; it didn’t even matter. It was a great moment.

And in Corniglia I looked at someone on the cliffs who turned to me and we smiled at each other. We smiled because we saw how much we appreciated the same beauty of nature. It was a wonderful moment with no words needed.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

the peace you long for exists within you.

I talk a lot. And I really do like human beings a lot. So much so that sometimes I forget to be alone for extended periods of time. And yes, I do yoga (of course), but even during my practices I sometimes get so wrapped up in what my body is doing or in thinking about or praying for one of the people I love so very dearly that I forget to reflect on myself and my own life. This of course is not very good for me and so I eventually find myself having a complete and total melt down in which I feel as though I can't hardly function and therefore will probably never be okay again. During such melt downs, you can usually find me fully clothed (shoes included) in my bed under the blankets in a state of panic because I can’t figure out how to begin to sort out the mess that I have found myself in. People try to talk sense into me (for example, my mother telling me that figuring out what to eat for dinner should not distress me this much, but regardless, I do need to eat), and I respond by spewing out dramatic, snarky, hopeless, and usually illogical arguments… until I realize:

the peace you long for exists within you.

At which point, all the tears abruptly cease, my body suddenly begins to relax, and I find myself seemingly involuntarily praying. I don’t mess around; I pray directly to the spirit that I know exists inside of me. I acknowledge her (and the fact that I haven’t been doing so enough lately), I chat with her, and I give her some seriously well-deserved and long-awaited loving.

The most recent prayer went a little like this:

“You, my dear, are stronger than this. Stop coping. Start living. You have the strength to be the woman you so want to be. It will be hard. And, to be honest, I am not quite sure what it will look like or how it will take shape, but you must do it. You don’t really have a choice. You will never forgive yourself if you give into difficulty, pain and fear. Plus, you’re going to be okay, I promise. In fact, I think that in a lot of ways you are better than okay. Think of how much healing has already occurred within you! Forgive yourself for not having it all figured out. You're not supposed to. And more importantly, my love, have patience with yourself.

“‘Human beings are not like bread. We are never done.’

“Embrace the journey. Take time to remember how much value you find in discomfort, in overcoming fear, in acts of liberation, in growth, in learning, in challenging yourself, in living fully, in motion, in uncertainty, in trusting, and in letting go. These things will only bring you closer to your authentic self. She is waiting for you with open arms. More importantly, she is waiting with more joy and more love than you can imagine. Trust in her. Run full speed towards her. And don’t look back. The past cannot define you any longer, sweetheart. Set yourself free. It’s time. It's time.”

Also, for your viewing pleasure, here is a slice of inspiration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATC5OGh3adg

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

if I ever get married...

If I ever decide to get married, my life partner better be okay with hanging all of our laundry on a line outside, hearing me sing loudly--no, at the top of my lungs--while I do the dishes (I mean, really, I learned it from my dad), with long walks late at night, with hysterical laughter and the full body spasms (and dance moves) that accompany it, with tears of both deep joy and deep sadness, with feistiness and sass, with passionate arguments and even more passionate expressions of love, with my undeniable need to write, with a room in our (teeny) house dedicated to yoga and all that which stems from it, with my need to cook in the middle of the afternoon while jamming to fantastic music just 'cause I fucking feel like it, with the fact that I bake for people just to show them how much I love them, with my--at times overwhelming--intensity, with my openness, with my need to be independent, with the fact that I doubt I will change my name, with travel and with exploration, with my tender-heartedness and the passion it brings for sometimes seemingly everything under the sun, with my obsession with freedom and with child-like, almost-naive honesty and authenticity, with my utter refusal to be jaded or cynical no matter how bad things sometimes appear, with my crazy, unpredictable spiritual journey, with my moments of reclusive thoughtfulness, with my outbursts--all of them!--with my willingness to give my life to something greater than myself, my family or even my capacity to envision, with my profoundly deep desire to be a mother, but to maintain my self and my individuality in doing so, with my dreams, with my love of risks--only when they hold the opportunity to realize those dreams or to become a more authentic version of myself, with my weakness, with my darkness, with my struggles, with my past... and my present... and my future, with my endless drive to--above all else--live each and every day of my life as no one but my most genuine self and to grow into an ever-more-loving individual who can better serve the world around her.

These are my requirements. I just thought you should know.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I'm starting with the man (or woman) in the mirror

O.K. This is going to be a long one, so microwave some organic popcorn (it’s delish) and enjoy.

So, I recently moved into a new apartment. And there isn’t a full length mirror. EEEK. I know. A girl needs a full length mirror. I have one at home that my brothers frequently storm into my room to use. I have one in a dresser that is in my usual dorm room. I suppose this is the first time I have never had a full length mirror in my room. But to tell you the truth, I find myself not caring. Does it really matter if I don’t look perfect? Oh, no, my shoes don’t match my shirt. What to do? And this is a big deal considering the fact that I always used to prefer my ensemble to match. I like to keep it classy.

Recently, I went to a little shindig for my father’s prosthetist. No not prostitute. Gross. My dad is an amputee; I hope that clarifies your confusions.

Anyways, we were talking to his prosthetist who said that the worst age and gender for someone to lose their leg is a 13 and female, because as a 13 year old female they are already undergoing so many body issues. When you are 13, you just want to fit in and be normal. You by the clothes that the cool kids wear. You cut your hair like Taylor Swift or someone else teenagers now adore (I really have no idea…Justin Beiber?). My dad meets grown women in parking lots who are too afraid to wear pants because that would show their prosthetic limb. They always ask my dad the same question, “I can’t believe you are wearing pants, aren’t you afraid of what people will think?” And my dad’s response is always “Why should I care what others’ think.”

I never think twice about the way my dad looks, or any other amputee that I see out and about, if anything I checkout what model prosthetic they have, but I always would think twice about the way I looked. So as I was standing in the prosthetist’s office listening to him speak about 13 year old girls with body image issues, all I could think was that it never really changes, no matter the age. But to me, that 13 year old girl is beautiful, every woman is beautiful. My worry in that moment was how can I tell a 13 year old girl wearing a prosthetic limb that she shouldn’t care what others think; when I care what others think?

I’ve come to the conclusion that we should just remove all of the full length mirrors. I mean don’t break them because being Polish, I believe that to be bad luck, but don’t put one in your daughter or son’s rooms. In fact, take yours out right now.

And I’m not saying that mirrors are bad. Hey, we need them for driving and such. Maybe looking in a mirror occasionally even helps you see yourself clearly and you end up liking what you see. But we shouldn’t waste our time standing, observing every inch of our bodies from our heads to our toes.

I’m going to trust my decisions from now on and I won’t second guess the way my jeans look, or if the color of the shirt matches the color of the skirt. They only real reason I did so before was because I didn’t want people to think I looked like a fool…but why should I care what they think?

Friday, June 10, 2011

time to take flight.

"Have an open heart and it will be broken."

I cannot wait to wake up every morning and live. I want my open heart to be broken so that the spirit I so cherish can have space to fill me. I want it to be broken for humanity. I want it to be broken for myself and my dreams. I want to focus on what really matters to me. I want to face and let go of the things that don't. I want to be rejuvenated. I want my passion to grow more intense with every day, every person I meet--and learn to love. I want my joy to deepen in light of the pain that I both experience and witness. I want to grow into an ever-more-loving individual. I want to find, and live in, peace. I want to let go of fear especially when it gets in the way of loving human beings fully. I want to heal and in doing so find the strength to give more fully of myself than I ever have before. I want to become a little bit more liberated with each passing moment (why have I not pierced my nose yet?!). I want to witness and receive love. I want to be nourished by a community who cherishes the things I cherish freely and openly. I want to explore my faith in this community and in doing so, I want that faith to grow and change into a more authentic version of my spirituality. I want to be smacked in the face with the reality of hate and violence and find restoration there anyway. I want to be able to say with faith that my past does not define me or my future because of having witnessed resiliency, strength, courage, joy and love in the human spirit.

"The longest journey is the journey within." Ah, it is time to take flight.

Monday, June 6, 2011

i'm backkk

I wrote a poem while I was gone! It's not my normal mode of expression, but I hope you like it at least a little bit :)


I want simultaneously to be alone and be held
Just as I feel simultaneously deep despair and endless hope
Just as human touch has power to both damage and heal
I want my touch to have the power
To remove the damage
Another's touch has caused.

I want to hold you and in doing so
Take the pain from your body
To mine
Because the fire within
Each molecule of my being
Will be strengthened by knowing
The pain touch has caused.

And don't worry when you see my physical reaction
The vomit and the tears are not weakness,
But love so strong my body cannot contain,
But grace so strong I am entirely consumed,
But an answer to my prayer:
Transformation to a vessel
Which can be filled with a courage and a strength
I, myself, do not possess.

Grace draws me forth,
Grace leaves me just one choice,
Grace fills my brokenness with light
As I walk,
Step by trembling step,
Out of the dark.