As I made my final preparations for my overseas excursion, I did something I never thought I could do. I let two people read a poem I wrote. By "people" I do not mean the kind that know me through the blog. I mean people in my real life. This was huge for me.
Along with a great bottle of wine, I gave my therapist a card with a poem printed and folded neatly inside. Under the title, I wrote, "by [my name]". Aside from elementary school, there have only been a handful of times I have signed my real name to my non-academic writing and had someone read it, and even then it was in a creative writing class with people I did not know.
Before I gave it to my therapist I had Lana proofread. She was my academic proofreader all through grad school. She has read a couple of my short stories before, which was hard enough, but this kind of thing is so much more raw.
Before I handed it to Lana, I babbled some preparatory instructions. I felt sick. I could barely breath. A few minutes later when she came to my desk, she had tears in her eyes.
She knew how hard this was for me. I think it meant a lot that I was willing to share it. She told me that it was beautiful. I was not sure if she meant the poem itself or the fact that I was able to let her read it, but it really did not matter.
And that is bigger than huge.
*I would like to dedicate this post to Z and I. Two people that should still be here today. Two people who inspire me to live with courage.