Imagine writing and working on something for months. Putting it down out of doubt. Picking it back up in renewed determination. Imagine shooting your shot by answering a call for writing workshops after your initial workshop flopped. Now, imagine being surrounding by open-minded, intrigued participants who are moved by your work. It’s been amazing. All of this was me the evening of March 14th, 2019.
The whole day I had this nervous energy not really knowing what to expect. Would someone show up just to antagonize and attempt to unravel my work? Would people sit there bored and unimpressed, waiting for the clock to hit 8pm? I didn’t know. All I had were my workbooks and the decision not to cancel.
I arrived to Capitol Hill Books. I opened the door to what I imagined a hall of mirrors made of books would resemble. There are books EVERYWHERE. Ceiling to staircase to bathroom. As much as I love order, the chaos made of my favorite things made me swoon. I was fascinated. I met Kristen, the creator of MoonLit DC upstairs near the shelves for Oscar Wilde and Vonnenut. She’s a consummate creative whose love for the arts comes throughly intensely. She’s also a warm beam of light and people should pay her their coins always. I stood nervously not knowing what to do or say. I smiled as more people ascended the stairs to greet us at the top. After a brief intro by Kristen about MoonLit DC, I was introduced and the show began.
At this moment as I type this, it’s barely been 12 hours. I’m still very high from the thrill of last night and specifically chose to carry my grounding crystals to keep my feet on the ground. What started off surreal, clumsy and nerve-wracking turned into therapy. The seven of us, once we defined the time as a safe space, spoke on our trials with writing, how we wish we could do it more, how exposing and vulnerable it is. The women around that table came from every walk and experience of life with that old-as-time riff of “not looking like what you’ve been through” charging through. There were threats of tears, laughter, admiration, sharing of stories and encouraging those who thought their stories didn’t matter to keep writing. I truly did not expect to have that type of experience in a near-infamous bookstore with complete strangers. But I did. And I’m a better writer, teacher and human being for it.
Last night I broke in my writing teacher shoes. Kristen excitedly told me that I “am officially a teaching artist!”. Imagine your soul hitting the roof of a book-lined shrine. Imagine looking back at the months of throwing away pages, rage qutting and starting over again to see the fruits come forward in real time. Imagine the culmination feeling like this. I saw things I imagined on March 14th, 2019. And I’m still floating.