An Ode to My Subconscious

third year cammie caldwell

photo by avni ahuja

photo by avni ahuja

We are always told to ignore that voice in our head. The wounding voice that speaks through a megaphone and tells us our inner fears will come true. You can call this voice what you want— your inner demon, your conscious. Hearing you’ll fail your test or you don’t look good in your outfit are just some of the things we’ve all heard a thousand times, like a scratchy record playing a song we really don’t like. Personally, I call it my subconscious, and I have had my fair share of tribulations with it.

However, I want to give a shout out to my subconscious, because lately something has shifted. There’s been no life changing event, no switch of seasons, yet I’ve started hearing some really good things from that voice. I don’t know what magical switch has happened in the universe, but that voice in my head, the one that is supposed to berate me, has suddenly become my friend. 

When I’m nervous, I hear, “Put your shoulders back. You’ll feel better that way.”

When I feel alone, I hear, “Call your mom. You’re lucky to have her.”

I hear, “Life is too short!” 

I hear, “Ask your friend to hang out. You haven’t seen her in a while.” 

And, I hear so many other beautiful words of love I had hardly ever heard before.

Where did this voice come from, and where did the malicious, megaphone using, destructive voice run off to? Why hasn’t my subconscious been this loving my whole life? 

I have a hypothesis. Every time the hateful voice in my head told me I wasn’t going to make it, the loving voice was speaking too. They have both always been there and always will be one subconscious guiding my steps. Like an invisible Jekyll and Hyde, the voices battle between themselves to get a word in. 

And, I have come to realize that a part of finding yourself is realizing what voice to listen to. 

So, this is my ode to you, subconscious. Despite all of your love and hate, in your own confusing, bilingual way, you have shaped me. You have shaped me into a woman who can now choose who to listen to. I know you’re not out to get me, as many believe. And, if for some reason I hear differently, I am now wise enough to ignore the negativity and wait for you to tell me to put my shoulders back, because I will feel better that way.

Happy Monday