I used to be very timid in my writing, I was careful and deliberate and thought more about the reader than about what I wanted to say. Grammar has always been my strong point and I would get caught up in form and punctuation and ultimately, lose the feelings I wanted to convey. Often the feelings I needed to share were too real and raw so I would censor them and give everything a touch of “sunshine and roses.”
A therapist I saw after we lost Hadley told me to journal. I tried not to roll my eyes at her suggestion, I had been writing for years and scribbling my raw feelings into a notebook was not going to help me heal. At some point between the eye-rolling me and the over-sharing me, I poured myself a glass of wine, revisited an extremely painful time in my life and carved out every detail. When I finished, I was emotionally exhausted and afraid to hit the “publish” button.
I went to bed that night and could not sleep. I was as nervous as I was energized by the thought of putting it all out there and had no idea if people would think I was just working through my feelings or mildly in need of heavy medication.
The healing that took place after that first piece is unexplainable. Delving deep into my grief, into memories I had pushed away, was some of the hardest mental work I have done. Having them handled with care by so many who responded with love and support was life-changing.
I will always remember taking the risk and feeling my heart beat in my fingers as I clicked to publish that post. But the reward is something that will stay with my writing forever.
It is for this very reason that I am so honored to be working along side Angela Amman and Angela Youngblood to bring Listen To Your Mother to the Metro Detroit area. The show is more than just women reading their words, it is bravery walking. It is women carrying their story through the door and setting it free in a place where their words will be taken care of, their journey valued.
If there is one thing blogging has taught me it is that everyone has a story to tell. I am so honored to help bring those stories to stage. I can’t wait to hear them all and I promise to take care of them just as carefully as you all have handled my own.
You can visit the Listen to Your Mother YouTube channel to learn more about what this amazing show is all about. There will be many updates to come on the first Metro Detroit show!
That first piece I took a chance on, We Still Could, was syndicated by Blogher and ultimately accepted into a literary magazine. I will forever be grateful to friends who helped me take my first leap and look forward to encouraging the many, many talented women of the Metro Detroit area to do the same.
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