Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What Writing Has Given Me

Well, it hasn't given me an agent or a publishing contract..... yet. But I've had a rather emotional couple of weeks and times like these cause me to do a lot more thinking than I usually do, and let me tell you--that's a lot of thinking.

I had to do something last weekend that was really hard for me. I spoke at my grandma's funeral. We were pretty close, and I'd helped to take care of her during the last few years when her health had declined rapidly. She was an amazing woman. Strong, forward thinking, a modern woman for her generation. She inspired a matriarchal family and no one, (not even my grandpa) complained.

When the pastor asked my mother about the eulogy, she didn't know how to answer him. She didn't want to read it, but who would? "I'll do it," I answered. "I'll read it."

Relief washed over her features. "Thanks Mandy," she said. And I know she meant it in a very real, very deep way.

I wrote the eulogy, certainly I could read it. But as the week wore on, I wondered if I could really do it. I gave myself many a pep talk, and as the moment approached I talked to myself out loud in a low murmur, "You can do this. You can do this."

I did it. I read it and then some. My voice didn't crack, I only shed a tear or two. I can't tell you how that made me feel. I can't tell you how that made my family feel. I wondered all day and the next where I found the strength to do what I did. I can't even speak in front of a school assembly or public hearing without a quavering voice and sweaty palms. Just last year, addressing the parents of my volleyball team sent me into a state of near shock and mental shut-down. So how in the hell did I get this done?

Writing. Writing has given me the gift of strength. Strength I didn't know I had; strength that was hidden away so deep that it would never surface. Writing has empowered me in a way that nothing else has.

I am a different person than the woman I was last year. I AM stronger. I AM more confident. I AM more comfortable in my own skin. It just solidifies my belief that writing is what I'm meant to be doing. I may never land an agent. I may never see my book bound in cardboard with a shiny dust cover. But I know that despite all of that, I'll keep writing, because writing has given me an invaluable gift. It's given me a piece of myself that I didn't know existed.


Angie said...

Sorry about your grandmother. I really enjoyed your post. I'm glad to know that writing has given you so much. I needed that today.

Abby said...

I love your posts! They're always so uplifting. So sorry to hear about your grandma. Thanks for sharing!

ElanaJ said...

This is so inspiring. I'm glad you were able to look at writing in that way. Sorry it took your grandma dying to do it, but still.


Lady Glamis said...

Beautifully said! I had to write and read the eulogy for my grandmother's funeral. It was difficult, but I understand the strength you speak of. Writing has shaped me in ways I can't even begin to explain and fathom.

Sharla said...

That is awesome. I'm sorry you had to deal with something so painful, but I'm really proud of you for being so strong and it's wonderful that writing gave you that strength. God bless you and keep you that strong!

Cole Gibsen said...

Beautiful post, Mandy

Suzanne said...

you are amazing.

Writing has given me the best gift. You.

Cassidy "Cassy" said...

Dear Mandy-
What a great post! I know how much you loved your Grandma and what she meant to you and I am so glad you read her eulogy. You were through so much with her in the last few years and I know she was there with you and she was so proud of you. What an amazing inspiration you are to so many people-me included. You have always been a strong woman with a tender heart-I'm glad your putting it out there for the world to see. As for your self-confidence; I have prayed so much for you to find it. I never would have guessed to look at your keyboard!

Love ya! Cassidy

Sarah Bromley said...

Beautiful post. I'm sorry about the loss of your grandmother. After losing both my parents, I had to find confidence in myself, too. Thank God you have your writing, and I'm quite sure your grandmother is extraordinarily proud of you.