Good things don’t usually come out of bad experiences. I mean they may come afterward but I usually have to work at it in order for something to happen.
It just doesn’t come out on its own, I have to find the lesson.
I have to search for the funny in it. My lens changes and I’m on the lookout and eventually … it happens. I find strength, awareness, thicker skin, appreciation for myself, acceptance that failure happens and I get back up. I find something immeasurable that contributes to me as a person.
But this time … this time I found opportunity.
Like most writers certain places, people, or experiences spark inspiration and the story just comes out. You weave fact and fiction into your storytelling and at the end you’ve created something out of a negative experience. Could be a great story, could just be writing therapy, or it could be both.
I found that one of my previous writing sessions fueled by familial dysfunction turned into therapy, which turned into laughter, which turned into a short play, which turned into a writer’s opportunity.
This week I was notified that my short play had been accepted into a 10-Minute Play Festival at one of theaters downtown.
I had a total high-five moment when I read the email … for once … it wasn’t a it’s-not-you-it’s-me rejection letter. It started off with … Congratulations. So after having a quiet celebratory moment I woo-hooed myself. I was able to bring about something positive, from such an emotionally draining experience.
I celebrated the news and kept this happy moment to myself for a while before telling a few friends and while I was quietly smiling at this moment I had flashback.
I was in the fourth grade, I was a girl scout, and I had gone camping to the big girl scout wilderness camping pow-wow convention. On the last day of workshops and badge earning festivities each troop needed to have a talent to present on stage. Some groups sang, others danced. Apparently my troop decided to act.
Does anybody have any ideas for our play? Who wants to help write it?
And there it was … the spark.
While others wanted to be on stage, in front of the crowd, I wanted to be behind the scenes. So I scribbled down notes, dialogue, and action. We practiced a little bit and then they hit the stage.
I stood next to my troop leader, Maria, hugging her in excitement and angst, squirming just thinking about how my words were gonna be out there. She smiled and hugged me back as we watched it unfold.
“It’s gonna all right,” she said.
It was the first time I saw my words live and in action. And it was all right. People laughed at the funny parts. People smiled. And some people didn’t, and that was all right too, because I was still smiling. I had done it.
And now years later I was gonna get to do it again. That has brought back the fourth-grade-girl-scout-giddy feeling and for that I am grateful. Something positive did come out of something negative.
It’s totally possible.