Every year, I lose my voice at least one time. That one time is usually at South By Southwest.

“You need to learn how to speak loudly without straining your vocal chords,” my husband (the former actor) informed me.

Harumph. Thanks.

He’s right, though.

It usually takes a few days of sustained interactions in loud places for me to lose my voice. Somehow, I managed to do it on the second day of SXSW this year – I’d only been in town maybe 30 hours by the time it happened. Over the next few days, I drank lots of hot water with tea and lemon, tea with lemon, and tea with honey and lemon, and also went through more than a bag of throat lozenges.

At moments, it got better. At others, it got worse. Now and again, I had no voice at all – I’d open my mouth and some croaking sound would come out.

Of course, the more I tried to baby my voice, the more frustrated I’d become. And then I’d strain my voice even further trying to express myself.

Fortunately, my friends all got that and obliged by filling in the silences. They are so selfless.

The thing that’s funny is that I used to be super-shy. And even now, sometimes, I go to events and hide in a corner and look at my phone. So how did I manage to talk so much and so loudly that I lost my voice in less than a day and a half?

One thing I did try, though, was speaking in a normal voice, instead of shouting. And I started listening to how other people were speaking. I could hear them, though I sometimes had to strain, but they didn’t appear to be shouting or straining. The voices of everyone else I met who claimed their voices were shot sounded far better than mine did.

I’m gonna go with the idea that a lost voice means a good time and lots of talking and enjoyment.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Photo by AbbyD11 via Flickr Creative Commons.

What's Happening Recommended by Hashcore