With all the outpouring of support, feet coming through the door, standing on the floor an hour or more, and then the words that they gave me,
You are an inspiration.
I feel full of hope and joy.
Thank you for your invitation to grieve
For being a truth-teller.
What if my circle of dreaming women hadn’t dragged me out of the dark, safe quiet place where I wrote and never showed anyone?
What if my friend hadn’t told me a few years ago that I needed to go to graduate school in creative writing? What if she had let me quit when I couldn’t see the sense in all that debt? What if that woman we knew hadn’t listened to her heart and taken the path toward her art, forsaking her job to write her book and found her way?
My friend could not have pointed to her and said, “Look how happy she is. You need to do it. You need to be who you were meant to be.” And then when I was sure it was all a waste of time and money to spend on nothing more than trying to write something too hard to write anyway, my grad school buddy said, “No way. You cannot quit. You have to finish. I won’t let you quit.”
Because of them and so many others pushing me when I wanted to take the easy out, I didn’t give up.
I wanted to, so many late nights, so many difficult days. Until the work was finally done.
And now here I am with all this love and appreciation raining down on me
And now I let it soak my tired skin
Drink it in
And thank everyone and everything.