Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Reflection.

On Sunday night, at Listen to Your Mother Boulder, I spoke my truth.  One of my truths, on stage, in front of 250 people, alongside 11 other brave souls choosing to speak theirs.  What is that feeling that takes hold after hearing your own voice project itself so authentically?  Why is there a desire to deconstruct that moment time and time again with family and close friends?  What is that part of me that wants to relive the heart-pounding seconds before stepping up to the microphone, the deep breath I took before diving in, the applause, and words of appreciation or pride?  I feel a little self-indulgent admitting that, but at the same time, I think it’s only natural to want to savor something so big.  Something so moving.  Something so important.

When people ask me how I felt about the night, I have a million different answers.  I barely remember my four-minute spotlight, and I could feel my entire body shaking as I stood there.  Each time I’d look down at my words on the page, I’d catch a glimpse of the bottom of my dress quivering in tune with my nerves.  I remember hearing one of my best friends laugh in the front row when I delivered a line toward the beginning.  This was grounding.  I remember finding my husband in the audience and feeling his energy of support and pride.  That felt right and uplifting.  I remember being in awe of my co-presenters and their stories; though I’d heard them before in rehearsals, each one was more poignant than ever.  I caught things in each I had never perceived before.  This reminded me of the wonder of writing and how we can experience the same piece in a new way a thousand times over.   I felt nervous to talk to friends afterward and wondered how they’d react to my story.  The praise was nice, and I really tried to stay in each conversation, absorb their words, as normally I shy away from that sort of thing.  Overall, my answer usually takes some version of “amazing” or “crazy” or “grateful.”  I do not elaborate because partly, I do not know.

Most of what I’ve felt in the past few days has been something close to utter exhaustion.  It could be the fact that we hit the town post-show and I downed a shot of tequila and two beers and was out until 12:45 a.m., but I’d like to think I still have some fire inside, the ability to rev and go once in a while and not crash for three full days following.  I’m beginning to realize that my exhaustion may be stemming from releasing something this huge and then diving suddenly back into the grind of normal life.  I’m a processer, people!  A reflector.  A thinker.  A writer.  And until now, I really haven’t had the chance.  I had a lovely talk with my husband who is just as excited as I am, and he allowed me to repeat myself, ask the same questions over and over just to hear his response.  Lying in bed way too late to be awake, high on some kind of chemical our bodies naturally produce, we talked all about it.  I got the rundown on his every thought, feeling, and interaction.  But I still felt confused about my own.

It has only been in the past 24 hours that I feel I’ve grasped almost fully what the experience meant to me.  When you hear my piece in a few months, when they are posted on You Tube, you will hear me talk about my son Calvin and what he’s taught me.  You will hear me talk about motherhood and the journey it constantly is.  You will also hear me admit an extremely personal struggle, one that I haven’t let many people into.  It is very real for me and was an excruciatingly painful time in my life.  It was this part, this process, of releasing something that had settled so deep inside me, to open up about the spillover, about what it’s been like to live current life against the backdrop of “ick” that moved me the most.  Instead of lurking in some file on my computer, some dark corner in my mind, or in some broken place in my heart, it bubbled up out of me, words let out, a truth spoken.  And I was not passive in this process.  My story definitely had its own push, but it would never have been told had I not made the choice to tell it.  I am very proud of this.  And what I’ve determined I’m feeling about this entire experience is a mixture of everything I already mentioned plus this extra little piece that probably has to remain nameless for fear of downplaying it or not giving it justice.  In my past, I did not open up, and therefore, I suffered.  My story then had push too, but I allowed it to overrule.   In small ways leading up to Listen to Your Mother I had conquered, but nothing compares to what it was to write a truth and then speak it aloud to family, friends, and strangers, and soon the ever-expansive Internet.  In the vulnerability, I found such strength.  In the openness, I felt people connect.  In the quivers, I felt something shift and move in a direction that isn’t without “ick” but is much closer to it.  In thanking motherhood for setting me free, I felt even more set free. 

Exhaustion, please, you can lift now.

Thank you for all the emails, texts, cards, calls, and notes of support, and for being one who supports my writing and my most true voice.


  1. I can't wait to see your piece! Congrats, Ker. You are one tough chick.

  2. This was an amazing night for all those who love you too. Thank you for being brave and a mirror to us all.