Two years ago, on a Friday much like this, I was in the middle of a regular winter school day so nervous and excited that all I really remember about the day is the raw energy. I left school that afternoon and headed for Portland for a writing workshop, my first ever, with a New York Times bestselling author.
By the time I arrived at the beautiful home of our hostess I was so terrified I could hardly breathe. What did I think I was doing? Who did I think I was? How long would it take for them to tell me I didn't really belong in a group of women who called themselves writers and seekers of truth and believers in love?
As it turns out, that weekend changed the course of my life forever. Such a dramatic and cliched thing to say, yet as true as anything can possibly be.
In the two years that followed that first act of facing-the-dragon bravery much has happened:
Two more powerful retreat/workshops, this blog, and the development of relationships both real and virtual with women whom I consider sisters and for whom I would do anything.
I wrote a book. God Has No Daughters took the better part of the two years to be born, but she is real. The healing that's resulted from writing about my young adult decade in a small Bible based cult, and revealing my longing for daughterhood and motherhood, has been deep and continues even now.
I decided to stay in my marriage of 22 years after spending most of it thinking I would have to leave in order to be whole. It turns out that a choice made decades ago for needs that no longer exist can still be the right one. It turns out that being loved completely and without reservation is a gift I can receive safely. It turns out that my heart is wiser than I give her credit for.
I gave up a potential career as an educational administrator after three years of classes, thousands of dollars, and a change of districts that would have allowed me to intern and become a principal. I knowingly turned away from the status, the income and the power - things I had spent my life believing I needed in order to matter.
Today I'm getting ready to head to another workshop. This time I took the day off. I travel with a completed manuscript to work on, my lovely laptop, and a dear friend whom I met at the first workshop two years ago. I'm excited in that first-day-of-school way - the possibilities unfurl before me in a bright ribbon of hope.
It turns out I am one of those women: a writer, a seeker of truth, a believer in love. This path is home in a way no path has been before. Let me head on up the road and find what's around the next bend. Thank you for traveling with me.
photo from Flickr