I did a thing. A fabulous impulsive thing I’m so glad about! I didn’t set out to do the thing, but it was meant to be. I gave them my money – threw all sorts of money at them – and got an email saying thanks, things fill up quickly so we’ll get back to you within forty-eight hours to tell you if you’re in or not.

Forty-eight hours! What kind of impulsive whim can withstand a forty-eight hour wait? I’m dying. I’ll tell you the story, to help me pass the time while I wait.

You know Cheryl Strayed? Madly inspiring, right? I was far down one of those random rabbit holes online, and I wasn’t thinking about her at all, but my click-fest landed me on a tweet of hers, from just a few hours prior, about a writing workshop she’d be doing in the spring.

I love writing. I wanted to be a writer but was told my style sucked (I believe what my mother actually said was that it was too mechanical). I let it go and got on with my life, in writing-adjacent work in communication sciences, editing, penning hilarious (at least to me) posts on facebook, etc.

I write constantly. I go through reams of paper and innumerable notebooks (LOVE my pretty notebooks), but recently I realized that most of my writing over the years is just me dumping words out. I haven’t worked to improve my writing, or to experiment with it, and I want to change that. So I’ve been vaguely exploring writing courses.

All that’s to say: I clicked to find out more about Cheryl Strayed’s workshop. She said it was at a retreat, so I expected it to be somewhere on the West Coast, inaccessible to me. It’s in Massachusetts, driving distance from home. Oh.

And the dates: I checked and the kids will be with their Dad that weekend. Huh.

It’s a yoga retreat. I’ve loved yoga for more than twenty years and had “yoga retreat by the ocean” written on my page of someday ideas, dreams, ever since a colleague went to one in Costa Rica last year. So, a yoga retreat by a lake (kripalu.org) stirred the pot of excitement brewing in my gut.

The workshop description specifically said to bring a pen and notebook. Okay, that’s not exactly surprising for a writing workshop, but I’ve got a mood building here, people! And I live for pens and notebooks!

There’s a passage in a magical book I bought (in the same way I always find magical books: I go into a little bookshop on my annual trip to NYC and special ones simply call out to me. I don’t even marvel at it anymore, it happens without fail). Well, this recent one is a delicate jewel called How Poetry Can Change Your Heart, and in one part it has a series of questions you go through, personal things. [spoiler] Toward the end of the list: “If a poet were to write about one story from your life, what story would you have them tell?”, followed by … “Why don’t you tell it?”

So, there I sat, in a hotel room in Chelsea, sobbing. Now, every day, I look at the sticky note where I wrote Why don’t you tell it? and I work on my writing.

To recap, I found myself looking at a writing workshop, with an author whose life and writing speak to me on many levels. At a yoga retreat. At a convenient time and location.

The workshop is called “The Story You Have to Tell”.

Less than ten minutes passed from seeing the tweet to submitting my registration. Maybe less than five.

Then came the up-to-forty-eight hour wait. Sigh. It’s later now – thank you for listening to my story while I waited – and I’m ecstatic to report it was not a long wait, and yes, I got the confirmation email. I’m really doing the thing!

The happy coincidences have a rhythm, rippling out, building on each other, swelling into a wave of excitement and wonder. It’s spilling out of me, mostly from my feet, I can’t stop dancing 💃 😊

5 comments

  1. I got a shiver down my spine when you revealed the title of the workshop! This is obviously meant to be, Karen. I also find books call to me – it feels like I’m reading what I’m meant to read at that moment and it’s always helpful. I hope you have a fantastic time (how can you not?).

    Liked by 1 person

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