When I was asked to join the team at SheTalks, it seemed a good fit right away.
Not only because I am a "she" and I talk – sometimes a lot, as my teenaged children will attest – but because I love a good story.
Working as a newspaper reporter for nearly 19 years, I learned everyone has one. Some are more interesting than others, for sure, but more often than not, a person's life path is not what you might have imagined.
As a journalist, I have been entrusted to tell many of those stories over the years. The most compelling usually involve some sort of adversity, such as discrimination, addiction or poverty. But they're almost never about the subjects as victims, so much as how the people impacted overcame their obstacles and managed to triumph, seemingly against the odds.
Dozens of women, for example, shared with me intimate and painful stories of abuse – most in an effort to offer hope and strength to others. They came to realize that empowerment came with simply being heard.
SheTalks provides a similar a forum for women to share their voices and their journeys. Their presentations (which are only eight minutes apiece) may be about anything – health, career, turning points in their lives – but they inevitably provide a connection point. And really, it's all about connections. Even in our differences, we tend to discover our similarities.
In the telling and the listening, we can learn from one another's stories, support and elevate each other and hopefully, come away inspired and with new insight into our place in the world.
As writer and editor for SheTalks, I look forward to being a part of that process and helping to amplify the voices of a multitude of diverse women, because unlike the proverb, silence isn't always golden.
- Sheila Reynolds has a BA in English from UBC and a Journalism degree from Langara College. She is the former assistant editor and reporter at the Surrey Leader newspaper and has won numerous international, national and provincial awards for her writing.