“THEY love you in Boulder,” a stranger says as she approaches me at one of the Parkinson’s meetings.
My husband, Tom has a handful of relatives living near Boulder who HAVE to love me. However, knowing only one non-family member in Boulder, how could THEY possibly love me?
She elaborates that they, the folks in the Parkinson’s support groups and the Davis Phinney Foundation, love the humorous, light tone of my blog, Shake, Rattle and Roll, and love that I don’t take Parkinson’s too seriously. But do they love me or my blog, I silently question. It reminds me of those late night debates with friends in college: “Does he love me for me or for my body?”
My written voice is much stronger than my spoken voice. Thanks go to my writing coach, Shari Caudron, author of Who Are You People and What Really Happened: Unexpected Insights from Life’s Uncomfortable Moments. Shari helped me eliminate qualifiers (perhaps, maybe, kinda, sorta, sometimes) from my written voice and develop a strong writing style. When I was coached by Shari nearly four years ago, she almost had to put a gun to my head to force me into creating my blog. Despite my whining and excuses, I am grateful that she coerced me into writing it. Now when people ask if I am Shake, Rattle and Roll, I enthusiastically respond, “Yes I am.” It has become part of my identity.
People who read my blog first and later meet me in person seem disappointed. The strong person that I am on the written page is not the weak person in front of them with the quiet whispery spoken voice of Parkinson’s. They feel deceived.
Recently I found a voice coach, Mary Spremulli, author of Voice Aerobics DVD, to work with me on developing a stronger speaking voice, one that is aligned with my writing voice, and reflects my true personality and spirit. The question “Do they love me or my blog?” then becomes irrelevant. It’s all one and the same.
Now if only I could write like Shari and speak like Mary, I’d be perfect.