Could you be less ‘insert the phrase’? I laughed and thought he was joking, I realised he wasn’t so I said ‘Yes, I could be less many things. But No, I won’t. The conversation ended and I put the phone down. I remember looking at the phone as if I’d taken leave of my senses and the conversation hadn’t happened, but it did. I remember saying that I live in 2021 and perhaps I’d gone back in time to when things looked different and I didn’t have a voice, he chuckled, again, the conversation was over.

Later that day I recounted the conversation, in my head and out loud, I guess shocked and assumed I’d done wrong – don’t you love how we assume that. I’d said, done, inferred, proposed that my life was open for conversation or comment.

One of my favourites is Jane Fonda and a while back I heard a TED talk she did called ‘her third act’ – she’s smart and it’s worth a watch. The thing that keeps echoing in my head is when she says her voice came late in life (seems hard to believe, to be honest as she’s driven change since she had a voice).

I don’t think it matters when our voices come it’s just that they come. We listen to that small voice inside ourselves and learn to trust it. That the same said voice sounds louder and we learn to listen to it. The voice becomes our voice and we act on it.

What you say matters. What other people say matters. Our job is to listen. To ourselves. And each other.

Yes, I could be less… I just don’t want to be anymore. But thanks for asking.

I love you. We can do hard things.

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