Tiptoeing Outside My Comfort Zone

Earlier this week, a friend told me about Listen to Your Mother. It’s a show that takes place each year in cities across the country, where writers read their essays/blog posts about motherhood – the good, the bad, the ugly, the really gross, the funny — and sometimes all of the above.

In her email about the show, Bridget told me that I should try out for the show, reading one of my blogs. My first thought: No way! Why would I want to get up in front of a theater full of people and read one of my posts? Especially my posts about becoming/being a mom, which have been some of the most raw, difficult posts to put out there? Hell, I don’t even share this blog beyond the people who already know about it.

Then I thought: This show sounds cool. Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of it? And you know what? Even though some of those posts were incredibly hard to write, I am really, really proud that I did. And some of them are among my most favorite things I’ve ever written. And, come to think of it, I’m not a terrible public speaker…at least as far as I know.

By Monday morning, I’d decided to try out. I’d picked out a few of my favorite posts to think about tweaking for the show. I emailed the show’s producers and asked for an audition – next weekend. Yikes.

And then it came: the email saying that they’ve already filled all their audition slots for this year.

I thought I’d be relieved to hear that. No scary tryout. No public speaking. No putting my life on display.

I wasn’t, though. I was kind of disappointed. I’d started to like the idea of sharing these stories with more people, and I think the energy I’d take away from the other writers would boost my own writing.

There’s always next year. I’ll definitely be going to the show, anyway, and maybe I’ll even let more people know about the blog. It’s time to take some baby steps beyond the comfort zone.

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