The first time I heard my words echoing back to me from the audience I was severely taken aback by the power it had. I had to hold back tears, and even now sometimes find myself overwhelmed by the energy and the emotion. I understand how a collective can hold sway over an individual and I understand how words can captivate, engage, and enrage. I knew the Mic Checks would be awesome (as in full of awe) at the very least I hoped they would be. But now, having experienced them, having been in the nexus of the amplified voices I can feel the power, not just understand it intellectually. I think about how this power has been harnessed for positive change and how it has been twisted for hate and more nefarious purposes. I think about my place, my voice in the world. I think about how I have chosen to use my voice. I think about the voices that are silenced and what power they have locked away. I hope I have put my voice forth in a way that stirs people to want to live in a world of beauty and love. I hope I continue to understand the power of my voice and words and strive to never in a moment of haste or frustration forget that power. I look to the universe for guidance in all my flawed humanity.