My last post was literally, an out pouring of emotions, frustration and ah-ha moments.
What I had failed to see as the words and thoughts were flung onto the page, was how clearly one could see themselves in my writing. To recognize yourself when someone is describing a rant of ‘what is wrong with people’ in general. Can cut deeply.
When this was brought to my attention, it was as if this person dumped a bucket of the frozen Hudson River over me. To say it was a wake-up call, was an understatement. I hurt someone deeply – unintentionally, but it still hurt them.
I almost lost a friend. You can judge me for yourself, that fragmented sentence tells you I did not lose her. But I could have, and that was an eye opener.
I will share with you dear readers, this journey has been mostly one, of meeting remarkable people. Expanding my circle of professional authors and beginning writers to learn from. And believe me, you learn from each and every one. Every professional author began the same way – writing. Writing down thoughts, ideas, dreams, and nightmares – simply writing. Where it took them from there, well, that was up to them. But the point I am trying to make is, that each person I have met along this particular path, has taught me something – good, bad, ugly, or beautiful. Something useful, something tangible. This time it was humility.
Now did I have to write a public apology? No, I did not, but I chose to because the person is a friend. And the importance of her friendship meant more to me then my ego. That really is what it is all about isn’t it? Ego – protecting it at all costs? Not when it means losing someone you care about.
So I chose, to edit my original post, as well as post a public apology on Facebook, knowing people would see it. Especially this young writer.
Sharing our conversation, the tears, the hug, and feeling the forgiveness wash over me was wonderful. A combination of joy and relief to know I did not do permanent damage. Then a conversation took place – so important, it not only clears the air, it allows understanding, so both individuals can understand what just took place, and of course learn from it.
In the days that followed, I shared with this young writer what I had integrated into my own ‘writing routine’. 750Words.com. I know I’ve spoken about this site before – and of course it is up to you to check it out, take it or not, personally I know it is directly responsible for making me a better writer, more committed and accountable to my own craft. I wanted to share parts of the email I received, with her permission of course, after the healing had begun:
“I understand why you wrote your post. And forgive me for being so blind to what you were saying. You have a gift! For telling the truth and expressing yourself so eloquently! I read your post when I was emotionally volatile and unstable.” ~L.
“Hi! Hope you surviving snowpocalypes #3434545 (very exaggerated number). Any hoo, I’m a penguin! Whoopie. You are so right about our journey being solely ours; I’ve let out so much emotion, thoughts, hopes, and ideas in to five days of writing. It’s interesting how writing becomes clearer, organized, but at the same time your voice takes on a unique sound. I treat 750words like a diary; I let out stuff that would get me fired if I said it out loud. The site is like a mini haven where I can rant and then make sense of the rant.” ~L.
The ‘snowpocalypes’ number she mentions, in the Northeast seems accurate! Especially today with the wind chill at minus 17 degrees.
The ‘penguin’ is regarding the badges you receive from 750 Words.com when you’ve written so many days in a row. She has passed penguin at this posting!
Yet it was a unique and unexpected apology letter in return that brought tears to my eyes:
“ It’s amazing what a good night sleep can do for the conscience. Pride is a friend of the devil and I’m ashamed that it almost snared me in to its grasp. You see, I have this friend named Patty who is an amazing person, friend and writer. Every time receive feedback on my writing from her pen, I know she put a lot of heart in to her words. I read her blog about the writer’s life; incredible, thoughtful post. One day she wrote a post about a request I sent her. Instead of taking her words of wisdom, I angrily dismissed her voice, her opinions, and her insight. I would like to tell her how sorry I am. How, after all the times she’s given so much of her time, energy, I repaid her with ungratefulness . Ms. Young is a gem; not just as a fellow writer, but as a friend. And if she accepts my apology, I would love to sit with her, to gain more of her wonderful wisdom and to apologize for my arrogance. Hoping to make things right, L.”
The experience has had such a powerful effect on me. As a writer yes, as a person more, and has once again, confirmed I am doing exactly, what I am suppose to be doing, at this point of my life. No fireworks, or golden awards given on a red carpet may be in my future. The gift of doing what I love, touching even just one person’s heart, means so much more than I could ever have imagined. I am grateful to L. and all the amazing women and men who have shared their journeys with me as I continue to blaze my own trail.
Breathe Deep, Think Peace