The Audio Book

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

March 10, 2022

I’ve been a visual learner for as long as I can remember. If I attended class and read the book, I was usually able to do well in school. So, it’s not surprising to know I love reading books. I love words. I love the ability to re-read sentences that catch me. But I had a natural aversion to listening to an audio book. If I couldn’t see it, would I be able to process it?

A Long Drive

At the beginning of this year, I packed my car and was ready to head out on a two-hour drive. I was tired of listening to my same old Spotify playlist. So, I chose to listen to a podcast. Where should I begin? There are so many to choose from! I looked at a few of the more popular options and saw one of my favorite authors: Brené Brown. I didn’t think for a second more. I clicked her name and put my car into drive. It was a podcast between her and another author, Tarana Burke. They spoke about the captivating writing style in Tarana’s latest memoir, Unbound. They also joked and laughed – like girlfriends do – and I had to admit I felt like part of the gang.

Last month, Brené had a different stye of podcast. On Valentine’s Day, she opted to read a chapter of her latest book, Atlas of the Heart. The chapter was titled, “Places We Go When the Heart Is Open.” Listening to her voice speak her words was powerful. More powerful than silently reading her words had ever been. The very next day I purchased my first audio book.

My Story, My Way

One of my favorite quotes from Brené Brown is this: “You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” And listening to her read her book was an embodiment of that quote. She owned it. She told it. She spoke it. How could I ever be unable to process that kind of information?

I have a story. You have a story. Brené has a story. And listening to her read her story, her passion, and her creation in her own words is something I won’t soon forget. Let’s all learn to write and speak our stories. Let’s all learn to own them.

Others don’t define our worth if we don’t let them.