We sat in the front row waiting for the professor to finish scrolling through each page on the projector screen. He eventually arrived at the title page of our subject for the day. My play. My first play. It was my sophomore year of college and now my turn to have my play read aloud and critiqued. I was anxious, fidgeting and very visibly sweating. My friend grabbed my hand and calmly said,
“Never be afraid to write something you think people will judge you for. They’re scared of different.”
After that day, having my writing displayed to the class’s criticism, I began to find my voice and new feeling of confidence. In that time of vulnerability, I found a place. I found a place to take constructive criticism and allowed it to fuel a fire. I am a storyteller. Maybe I get it from my mother, a woman whose stories are the creation of a village fortune teller. Her walk to the mailbox can turn into a mystical adventure that lasts for days.
Or perhaps it’s from all the Saturday nights I spent in AA meetings with my dad as a child. The room filled with smoke, coffee and Mountain Dew. My sister and I sat back in chairs big enough for us to share, as people told the stories of their lives. They were so honest about their past and the ways they work to overcome their demons today. Either way, I’ve grown up around some remarkable, colorful characters who’ve inspired a healthy imagination my whole life.
Some time after college I began to have new fears. I worried about my purpose. My path. My meaning. And through my seasons of depression I’ve often wondered why I matter at all. Having a space to consider myself and ask myself what I need has been healing and now I'm learning how to show up for people again. To reach out again.
I think the key to rejuvenation, restoration and freedom comes when you turn outward and examine life outside yourself. I can only share my story and as a woman, I tend to have great compassion for other women so, a lot of my efforts focus on empowering women to find reconciliation from shame, silence or whatever has hurt them. I hope to bring justice to the individual through stories by focusing on truth. I want to be a steward of that. My heart is not to lead anyone to MY truth but to open the door and create a safe place to communicate. I only hope to speak with honesty and grace and maybe some of my experiences can help others move to a place of inner peace. Maybe this sounds a little hoaky, and maybe for some people it is…
but there are plenty of others who’ve had their choices stripped away from them and these words will resonate with them. For you, my friend, who understands this hurt I invite you to the table. I invite you to open up. To wake up to yourself and to those around you. You are not alone.
Here’s the truth:
We’re all storytellers. We all have something important to say. I want to invite you to say it. Share your story. It is important. You are important. You matter.
“Already I'm so lonesome I could die”
sounds of screen door slam, heard offstage
ABV 8.5 %
11, 12, 13...
By Brooke Mogy