Monday, June 6, 2011

Has Writing Changed Your Life?

I never cry. It's a sign of weakness, and I'm a survivor. I smile in the face of adversity, I keep a stiff upper lip when challenges come my way, and I never, never, never break down in front of others.

At least, that used to be true.

This year has been a year of change. It started last spring when no one would be social committee chair, and I volunteered (as if my life isn't crazy enough). Little did I know all hell would break loose. We've had deaths, marriages, baby showers, retirements, and on top of it all another school has opened up and we are losing 20 beloved staff members. Oh, and did I mention that Kate graduated and is headed eight hours away?

In years past, I could have handled it all with professional indifference. After all, I'm a performer. I've sung at weddings and funerals others couldn't handle. I was known as the one with nerves of steel, emotions on ice.

But this year, every time I've stood in front of the staff I've lost control and ended in tears.  It's absolutely ridiculous. It's mortifying. What is it about this year that's different?

I'd love to blame it on hormones, but honestly, I think it's because I'm writing every day. To create believable characters means that the writing must come from a place deep within. I'm no longer denying how I feel about things, I'm embracing life ... I'm connected to my emotions.

Honestly, it's a little overwhelming. Vulnerability is not my strong suit, and yet, the more I write, the more I'm able to open myself up, to put it out there for the world to see. I'm finding that through this process I'm able to communicate with people on a deeper level. At first, I was afraid that people might judge me or think I'm crazy, but what I've found is that most people crave the authenticity of the moment. They embrace what is real.

It's an understatement to say that writing has changed my life. I'd love to know if it's changed yours.