Voices

February 17, 2016

As a little kid, I never really stopped to ponder voices. Actually, I never really stopped to ponder voices until quite recently. They always just came out of my friends’ and families’ mouths without any second thought behind them. Maybe there was thought behind the words, but the voices themselves always came naturally. They are a huge part of who we are, and how we express ourselves through them can be truly phenomenal. Sometimes they are strong, while other times they are soft and subtle. Some are extremely unique, while others tend to get lost in a sea of sounds around them. But no matter what, voices always seem to just come.

I was once told that the voices of those you care about most are the ones you can hear in your head. You know them so well that you can almost hear them formulating sentences they’ve never quite spoken, and thoughts they’ve never put into words. The idea of this sensation is one that makes me extremely happy. Someone’s voice, if used correctly, can guide you through the worst of tough times into something better. Hearing a loved one in your head cheering you on can give you hope. If you can hear those amazing things in real life, that’s even better; but either way, the voice of a someone you care about is able to get you through.

But while this makes me extremely happy, another aspect of voices brings me down to earth again. I’ve also heard that of those people you care about, voices are the first thing you forget about when they begin to fade from your memory. Not their most worn-in shirt or their least favorite restaurant, but their voice. Which terrifies me.

Going away in less than half of a year is a very real thing right now. I am going to be at least 800 miles away from many of my close friends and family, and the fact of the matter is that there are going to be people who fade from my memory. Schoolmates and distant friends will become nothing more than obsolete names and faces, and the intimacy of hearing their voice on a daily basis will be gone. Without a phone call, the exquisite tones behind the many emotions of my friends will vanish, and I won’t be able to recall them if I were to try. This thought is painful to me because I value the relationships in my life more than anything. I love my friends and family more than anything and would do just about anything to carry them with me; so the fact that something so integral to us as humans would be the first thing I forget about them is heart wrenching.

Voices are something truly special. In thinking about them recently, I know I have taken them for granted. They come so easily to us, and we barely have to work at all to manipulate them into anything we want them to be. A sarcastic comment, a melody, or a pick-me-up for a friend to name only a few of the infinite examples. Yet they are such a large part of who we are as a person. I bet you could close your eyes, listen, and name a friend speaking from miles away (we almost do that with telephones, anyway). They are everything we wish them to be and help us mold ourselves into anything we wish to be, without a second thought. Which is pretty incredible.

Voices can carry anything from eloquent poetry to things we wish we could take back. They articulate feelings, good and bad. And they are unique to each and every one of us. Each laugh at a sleepover, each scream at a football game or, like tonight, at a wrestling match, is just another piece of the extreme puzzle that is our voice. So don’t take it for granted, and use it to express yourself in amazing ways, because we are lucky to have something so beautiful come so easily.

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