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This month marks the first anniversary of bringyournoise. What’s remarkable to me is the willingness of strangers and friends alike to read and think about (and sometimes share and comment on) what I write. Every time I write a post, I question what I’ve said, how I’ve said it, and whether it should have been said at all. I always anticipate that someone will take offense to my perspective, and I always worry that I am wrong or have been insensitive or just plain don’t know what I’m talking about. And I’m certain that all of these things have been true at one time or another, but so far the kindness of strangers (and friends) has prevailed and no one has been unnecessarily harsh or cruel in response and for that I am grateful. In some instances, this may be the result of adherence to that old adage “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all,” which I get–my mom taught me that as well.

This blog has been an outlet for me on many occasions and for many reasons. It’s a privilege to have a forum for self-expression that has gained steadily over the past year in viewership and subscribers, although I am sure that my following is truly modest compared to that of more prominent bloggers. But the fact that I have any following at all is simply amazing to me and for that I am grateful, too.

When I started this blog almost a year ago, I did so because I had just discovered my voice, professionally, mostly, but personally, too. And what I’ve found over this past year is that finding and using your voice does much more good than harm. Writing and sharing your thoughts and ideas doesn’t mean that you think you know more than anyone else or that anything you say is particularly important or meaningful. It simply means that you are willing to reveal yourself in the hope that someone else can relate to what you’ve said by way of agreement or by way of disagreement because either way you’ve struck a chord. And maybe started a conversation.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. I love writing this blog, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. My hope is that I can learn and grow and improve upon what I set out to do, which is to make some noise. “Noise” definitely has a negative connotation, unless you think about it like this: If there is an uncomfortable silence in a room, then sometimes the slightest noise can spark laughter or surprise or start a conversation.

I hope the noise that I bring is gentle and just enough to change the atmosphere in the room.

With appreciation-