I write to connect to others. You know those times when someone dares to share something personal, something a bit unsavory perhaps, or a lot unsavory. At first you might be a little shocked, but mostly you’re thinking, “Well, if we’re being honest… me too.” Only the brave will say it out loud. The weenies will leave the poor person hanging. I want my life to be made up of “me too” moments and slowly, it is.
This whole writing endeavor started because of “me too” moments. I lead this women’s Bible study on Wednesday mornings through Mission Church, a place dripping with “me too” moments and it’s wrecked me. It’s real, edgy and raw. Perhaps not what comes to mind when you think of a Bible study. It’s not what used to come to mine.
We don’t try to fix each other. Instead we listen, relate, connect and grow together. We nod our heads knowingly and say, “me too” when someone shares something hard that we can relate to all too well. We celebrate like crazy when someone has something exciting to share. We laugh hard. We consume gallons of coffee.
We’ve been meeting for a year now and I’d been wracking my brain with how to widen the circle of all we enjoy about this group. It’s unique and powerful and needed and I wanted more of it for more of us. So I started this blog a little over three months ago and it’s worked.
Here’s the thing, this blog has opened some pretty cool doors professionally too. But I can honestly say that the greatest rush of joy and sense of accomplish comes when people contact me after reading a post saying, “Oh my gosh, me too, can we talk?” It just doesn’t get any better than that.
After I posted Fading Beauty a friend of mine texted saying that she read it and wanted to say how much it struck a cord with her. We texted back and forth and at one point she wrote, “Maybe if we all talked about it more it (beauty going bye bye) it would be less of a strain on us all?” Yes, so much yes.
Stop The Ride, I Want To Get Off spurred on countless conversations with strangers, friends and family members. Depression, anxiety and loneliness are epidemic in our nation and as scary as it was to admit that I’d been to the bottom of that dark hole, it was the “me too” moments that came from it that made it all worth it. That one post opened up conversations with people in my life I never thought I’d have. Reaching out to a handful of girlfriends it what finally broke the spell that had a strong hold on me so when people reached out to me after that post I got to encourage them by saying, “Look! You’re doing it! You made this phone call. You’re doing the very thing that will surely strip away some of the power of this nasty thing that has a hold on you.”
When I write I find myself backspacing the ugly, “Do I really want to put that out there? Admit that? Say that? Go there?” Then I hear a nudging voice asking me, “Are you going to tell the story, or are you going to tell the story?” I’m pretty sure it’s God asking. So I tell the story.
One friend, after binge reading all of my posts texted me asking if we could meet that day. I thought something was wrong so I said “Sure, of course.” Two hours later she was on my couch, our smallest children playing at our feet, as we debriefed everything she’d read. We’d been friends for years but she felt like she knew me so much better now. We talked and talked and talked. One reason she wanted to meet so urgently is that she too wants to write. I hear this all.the.time. It’s one of the reasons I chose this topic for Write31 so I’ll just say it: Write your words writers! We need your words. The world will never tire of new and beautiful words. And by simply doing so, you will be a writer.
Oh, and here’s to many more “me too” moments.