“Man, sometimes it takes you a long time to sound like yourself.”

Miles Davis

In this rollercoaster journey we call life, you’d imagine that the voice booming out of the loudspeaker would be familiar from the get-go. But it’s a funny thing – it often takes a considerable stretch of time before that voice actually sounds like you. It’s like buying a new pair of shoes; they’re shiny and fresh out of the box, but it’s not until they’ve been worn, scuffed, and loved that they really feel like they belong to you.

The same goes for our voices. We start out mimicking the sounds around us, copying the cadences of those we admire, echoing the phrases we hear over and over. It’s a melody composed entirely of borrowed notes. But with time, the tune starts to change. Our experiences, our triumphs and stumbles, they all subtly shift the rhythm.

And then one day, you open your mouth and the sound that emerges is unmistakably you. It’s rich with the wisdom of your journey, layered with the learnings of your life. It’s been a long time coming, but there you are – sounding undeniably, irreplaceably, like yourself.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.