As one of my exercises in the "Year of Me" I decided to audition to read an original essay on motherhood. Not because I necessarily expected, or even hoped, to be picked to perform it during the Mother's Day show but because it would challenge me in ways I don't normally challenge myself but wish I did- writing something more serious then a blog post, putting my stage-frighty self thru an auditioning process, ect.
It ended up being more of a challenge then I expected however, because, you see, I ended up writing two pieces. And while I was very very proud of the first...the second...the second was my very soul revealed. And so I spent weeks in limbo. Editing and rewriting both. Changing my mind over and over again. Do I read the first? It is the one more likely to be picked, definitely, with its neat and trim lesson at the end, its bright outlook and its universal appeal. And really, it is a very good essay, some of the best stuff I've written in years...
Or do I read the second? That raw, painful peek into everything I am-and everything motherhood means to me. It has no neat and trim lesson, it is not universally appealing or even acceptable. It is nothing but myself, liquefied and boiled down; desperate faith and failed intentions.
I decided on the first.
But I brought the second anyways. Even in the waiting room, at the cusp of any decision.
And as I sat there, allowing myself a fleeting daydream of actually being chosen and coming home from vacation to read (because I have so little actual expectation of being one of the 10 or so of 21 auditioners that I planned a Seattle vacation right into that weekend, but no so little humility that I didn't also plan a back-up early return) anyways, as I indulged in my daydream, I realized that as much as I loved that first essay...I couldn't choose it. If I was going to put myself out there, I was going to put myself out there. Me. Desperate faith and failed intentions. The coffee sustained and imperfect me. Even if it isn't PR friendly and even if it isn't easy to choke down I had to read that second essay.
Because suddenly the worst case scenario changed from being emailed a list without my name on it, to seeing my name on that list and knowing that I wimped out.
I read my second essay. And my voice was clear.
*Just so you know, the second essay was this blog post, rewritten and refined. And the first essay is not to be wasted, either, I think I will save for my own Mother's Day post.*