After a few sunny days, we’re back to rain here in Slo and we just hit the end of week 9. Finals start in one week. As much as I want to say time crept up on me, it didn’t.
Between work and class and the life of a college student, things have been pretty busy for me this quarter— way busier than I ever was last year. I like to look back and wonder what I did with all my free time… Then again, I know I spent it all on chemistry. Yet here we are again, almost prep week for winter quarter and I can’t say I’m too excited for it. Lucky for me, there is one thing I have to look forward to before we get to the real grind.
I’ve got some more news for you today!
Last year my parents came down for Nick and my birthday and it just so happened that there was a show on campus that Saturday night. We weren’t sure what it was, just that it was called the Original Women’s Narratives (OWN) and we were offered free tickets for it. They were free after all, so we went without any idea what we were getting into.
I’m really glad we did.
The show turned out to be incredible, a play completely run, directed, and acted out by woman-identifying students from all cultures, backgrounds, and walks of life. The best part about it? It was all written by the students. The play took us through the writer’s experiences from mental health and sexual harassment, to discrimination against race or sexuality. Each and every story told brought you into their lives, giving you a chance to walk around in their shoes for a bit.
To try them on for size.
So why am I telling you about the show, considering I went to it almost a year ago?
I’m telling you because this time, my story is about to be told on that stage. Tomorrow night.
One of the beautiful things I think this play does is that it allows students to show people who they are or what they’ve been through. In letting us submit our own pieces to the show coordinators and even audition for the part, it’s amazing to see what comes out of it.
This year, I wasn’t so sure about getting up there two days in a row to tell the world about my experiences and my struggles in life. If you know me, you’d know that I am (for the most part) an introvert; that’s changed a little bit since college, but not that much. I’ve always been a behind-the-scenes kind of girl, so I submitted my piece to be performed rather than auditioning to perform it myself.
In retrospect, I probably should have shoved myself out of my comfort zone to perform it anyway, after all, that’s what college is about. But I remember the feeling of sitting in that audience, hearing those stories for the first time– the echo of snaps sounding throughout the room, the power emanating off that stage. It was something worth putting my own writing into. And I’m SO excited to see what they decided to do with it.
Because sometimes we put our work out there, we lay ourselves out for show, and all we can do is wait to see what happens. Sometimes, we get rejected. We don’t quite fit the bill.
And sometimes, we allow the vulnerability to happen only to find that the payoff is so much more than we could have imagined. We make new friends and memories, find more outlets and opportunities… When we take a chance on ourselves, in our lives and in our work, we give ourselves a chance to be something we haven’t been yet— better.
In putting my writing on display, I am taking a small step out of my comfort zone to share my life and my voice with the world around me. Though I don’t know yet whether my words will be rejected or accepted, maybe that isn’t always the point. Maybe the point is to do it despite the uncertainty, to let ourselves be afraid of the outcome but willing to grow with whatever comes next.
I think I’m ready to wait and see what happens tomorrow night, to watch my Original Woman’s Narrative be played out in front of me.
So keep an eye out for Tuesday’s new Poetry Place where I get to share my piece, A Black Woman’s Battle Cry, with YOU!
And who knows, maybe next year, I’ll get up there and perform it myself.
If you have your own story, as I’m sure you all do, let me know in the comments below. What is one thing that made you so much of who you are today?