I want to say for the record that I did not speak an untruth and I will stand by all of my statements.
But my silence was a lie.
I had been looking forward to the Listen To Your Mother show for months. Some of Austin’s best writers would be reading pieces about being a Mom. I love Austin and writers and Moms and I would have paid $100 and/or driven to Dallas to see the show. I might have even moved to Dallas. I really wanted to see the show.
So, when I arrived at 3:00 and saw some writer friends talking outside the auditorium, I joined them and I was happy to be there.
Then I got a funny sense that something wasn’t right.
Then I noticed that people were coming out of the auditorium, instead of going in.
Then someone said, “Kristin Armstrong had the funniest line, about the thunder roll of the teenage eyeballs.”
I missed the show.
I don’t understand what I did next. All I can say is, do you know how you have all sorts of little people inside your head? The strong, confident, beautiful grown up and the confused teenager and the scared little kid, and each one of them can come out at different times?
I have a little girl inside my head.
She is in the 5th grade.
She is terrified of people.
She has recently became aware of all that she isn’t.
She took over the situation.
Because, I had been talking for so long and I hadn’t mentioned that I missed the show and it would be strange to bring it up now.
But, someone could ask me, “Which reading was your favorite?” and what would I say?
OK, wait a minute. I didn’t wet my pants or show up naked. I didn’t steal something or heckle the MC. I remembered the time of the show wrong. So what?
But the little girl in me was too embarrassed. I didn’t say anything. I was lucky, no one asked me a question about the show. When someone would comment on a reading I stayed quiet.
In the car on the way home, I was even more embarrassed for not saying something. I’m not in the 5th grade anymore, right?
I had some time away from the kids, since I was supposed to be at a show and all, so I stopped at a coffee shop to think about it.
My first clue was that I had a history with Listen To Your Mother. I had auditioned for the show. Here are a few things that went wrong with my audition:
- I did a performance instead of a reading. I got Listen To Your Mother confused with The Maternal Instincts Project, since I got auditions for each at about the same time. Well, now I know that Listen To Your Mother is readings of writing pieces, not a theater-style performance.
- I’m not a good performer.
- I spent so much time learning the performance that my writing was sloppy, which was unfortunate, since Listen To Your Mother is all about the writing.
So, I was feeling a little dorky already.
My second clue was that just about all the writers I admire were there, including my biggest blog crushes, and it isn’t fun to look like a dork in front of people you admire.
But none of that explains it really. so I thought some more, until I discovered the third and most important clue.
I want to be a writer.
I want to be able to put ideas and feelings into words in a way that touches someone else.
That space, where it is so important to me, not in a practical way, but in a deep-heart-and-soul kind of way, that is a vulnerable space.
Sometimes it makes me feel like I’m back in the 5th grade.
Since I like to have the grown up inside my head be in charge more of the time, I have to come clean. I didn’t see the show.
I’m going to feel like a grown up writer one day, one that is more confident than she is vulnerable. That is enough for now, to know that I’ll get there one day.
And that is the truth.