2019-07-19 MFA Res Day 7 – Deep Breath

Compared to the three previous days waking up today, despite still only having just shy of 4.5 hours of sleep, I’m feeling much closer to my center. Perhaps it’s because I just woke up and am enjoying my routine already but it could also be the fact that we are on the downhill slide of this little adventure and that yesterday there was a great release when the swell that comes from my having my “15 minutes of fame” here was over.

I’m talking about the student readings which appear on the surface to be no big deal to other folks. That’s how things often appear on the surface so I’m not sure if there is any truth in it. It’s a big deal to me to have the eyes of so many brilliant writers – brilliant people – all on me for even a short time like 5 minutes. One has the attention of the room and that brings power. And with great power becomes great responsibility. I felt it.

It’s a responsibility to step up to the plate and kill it, somehow trying, through my words to make a case that I belong here. That I, too, am worthy of this experience. It’s feels self serving to highlight the fact that the journey that led me here is very different than most people I talk to. Maybe I’m just drawn to talk to people with backgrounds and situations that differ from my own because that’s interesting or because I’m searching for the common threads between us.

Through reading their work and hearing them read it that is easy to glean, as the passion bleeds through. It feels like such a great opportunity to get a glimpse into the hearts and minds of everyone, many of whom are early in their writing lives and careers. It’s a special thing and I feel as tough the price for admission is contribution. Therein lies the pressure and the swell.

I spent several hours in thought and action for preparation, including most of my morning yesterday. Everyone else was having scheduled meetings with their mentors and finalizing study plans for the semester. My mentor was absent on “other duties as assigned” by the program and university. It’s a privilege to be working with someone who is so intrugal to the program, someone who is so invested in it, and whose work I respect so greatly. It’s worthy of so many more words but I’m going to hold them hostage until another time.

By mid-morning. I was done with final edits, timing everything, and preparing my comments for my reading. I’d love to appear fearless and polished, graceful and unrehearsed, and, as I said, worthy. I want those things to be real and overpower the anxiety and uncertainty that I experience with public speaking.

When it was over and done, I felt pretty good about it. I truly did, which is awesome, and then I had a wave of relief wash over me. The rest of the day I felt so much lighter inside. Other aspects of this time started to take their shapes again and some of my focus has returned.

As always, there’s a great deal more I could say about the rest of the day’s activities. Day spills into night and crosses through dreams and returns with the sunrise. With that, the sun is up and my time is up too.

Enjoying the Exhale,

~Miss SugarCookie

2017-11-10 The Good, the Bad, and the Really, Really Ugly

Let’s start with really, really ugly.. This morning when I woke up the temperature outside was 21 degrees. Brrrrrr, what?! Sometimes I wonder why I even live here since I hate the cold so, so much. I think the answer is/was family way back when, but now it’s definitely the kids. When they are grown and gone, all bets are off and I’m predicting a 90% chance of permanent relocation.

OK, now the good.. Last night I participated in a “Show and Tell Story Slam”. There were ten storytellers, three judges who were volunteers from the audience, and about 40-50 people sitting and standing around the room. There were more people in that room than any of the previous events I’ve attended. Of course it was.. because this is the one I elected to be my debut.

I went second to last and sat in the back row, and watched as all the other people got up and told their stories. As each one went by, my nerves became more and more unravelled. As each one went by, a few more people came in the door. So by the time 8:40 came around, it was a packed house, i was totally sweaty, and I had nowhere to escape to. So when they called my name, I grabbed my phone and my bottle of sand and walked up to the front of the stage.

Of all the storytellers, only myself and one other person read their story. He read from paper and I read from my phone. I probably would not do that again because it was very easy to lose my place, especially since I was really trying to look up and make eye contact with the people in the audience. The whole thing was over in about 9 minutes. I ran over on time, so that means I did a good job pacing myself since my story was right at the 8 minute mark.

I put this event in the “good” category for a couple of reasons. The first is that I actually finally did it. Yay, for trying new things and overcoming my fear of public speaking AND my social anxiety. The second is that I actually tied for 3rd place. It was a thee-way tie which basically means I was in the top 50% for scores. They did not have prizes for three people so the only thing I came away with was a book from the Omaha Public Library, one of the sponsors of the event.

Now for the bad.. I cut my hair. OK that part is not so bad. I have cut my own hair for years now and nobody does it better than me (and nobody does it cheaper 😉 ). However, yesterday I was in a really down mood all day and so when I showed up at Simon’s house and he didn’t even notice or comment it was like earwax icing on a shit cake. Yeah, it felt that terrible.

I mean, I cut off like 4-6 inches and not only that, but it was straight, which I rarely do, and he’s never seen it that way before. How in the world do you not notice that??! I want to be with someone who has enough interest in me to pay attention to those details. I want them to care about my writing, cheer me on when I try new things (like last night), and be an equal partner in the relationship. I’m not OK with lopsided anymore. The hormones may have had something to do with the way I was reacting to his non-reaction, but I’m not feeling really good about that relationship right now anyway.

That probably deserves to be expanded on somewhat but I just don’t have it in me today. I’ll save it for some other time when the swell of hormones is over, it’s not effffing 22 degrees out, and I have more time. I really need to get out of bed now and go do something productive.

Until Tomorrow,
~Miss SugarCookie