I had complicated feelings about the story. For five hours that day I sat at my computer and took myself back to eighth grade. To those days of fear, anxiety and longing to belong. For five hours I examined memories long buried, and laid myself bare.
For the six months that I had been blogging my writing had been light, but I had begun to think that maybe I had something more. Something important.
I felt the words marinating inside me, their flavors deepening, but not quite ready to be consumed.
But the day they were ready to be written, I knew.
So I sat, and I wrote. And it was different. It wasn't light this time, but a little dark, a little complicated, a little sad.
And when the last line was typed, I went back to read what I had written and I was stunned at what had come out of me.
I sat for a minute, wondering what to do. My first instinct was to leave it in my drafts folder. To save it for me and me alone. But there was a whisper in my head that got louder each time I read back through my story.
I wanted to share it. I wanted people to read it. Because I thought that, more than anything I had ever written before, these words said "this is me." It was honest, and it was real, and I was proud of it.
So I published it to my blog, but it wasn't quite enough. Because the people who read my blog - my parents, my sisters, my family - knew the story already. I wondered what people who didn't know the story would think. Whether my writing would stand up. Whether they would understand what I felt, what I was trying to do.
I had been lurking at Yeah Write for the summer, reading excellent writing and trying to summon the courage to join the party.
That day, I found it.
So I added my link to the grid. For an hour I waited while my post was moderated. I knew I would get an e-mail when my story was approved, but I still pressed refresh every thirty seconds.
And when my story finally appeared on the grid, a fresh wave of anxiety washed over me.
What if it's not good enough? What if no one likes it?
But then the comments started coming in. Supportive and wonderful comments from other writers. From people who knew. Who understood what it was like to put your words out there and hope for the best.
One that day, the day of my very first Yeah Write post, I found more than my voice. I found a community. A family.
And I am grateful.
Happy, happy 2nd birthday to Yeah Write and to the amazing ladies who keep it running.
Endless thanks for giving us a community and a family to come back to week after week.