I had my first writing class last night.

When I signed up I was all “hell yeah!” then I thought it was going to complicate my schedule too much and I got fearful and almost cancelled doing it. Then I had the time wrong and it turned out I realized that I wanted to not go out of fear rather than actual complication.

So I went.


It was grand. I sang and yodeled and lalala’d all the way home. There were about ten of us in the library at the Center for Documentary Studies which was as lovely as it sounds. A room full of other writers??? Shut the fuck up. The woman teaching the class is thoughtful and funny and genuine. We did some short writing and I made myself read what I wrote because that’s why I’m there: to put myself out there, to share my way with words. I did NOT want to read out loud even one tiny littlest bit, but my go ahead voice urged me on so I did it. It was so cool to hear other people’s words and thoughts, to think about other people feeling the necessity of writing too.

I am in this constant state of wonder these days: the bigness and ease of my life stretches my imagination to no end. I’m always writing back and forth with at least one person who is at the very beginning or not even started getting sober yet and it’s always this feeling that I want to convey- the feeling of wonder. It’s so interesting to be able to remember clearly the frustration and suckiness of living that alcoholic’s life and then mash that up to living this alcoholic’s life: the only true difference is that I don’t drink anymore.

Me minus booze equals magic.

It takes so long to get to this place: I want to share that but then I want to keep it secret because I’m afraid if anyone knows that they won’t even stay or get started. But here’s the thing- it just keeps getting better and better and better. So you start out and your victories are all big even if in retrospect they seem small. When I first got sober one of my biggest victories was all the crying. Then it was being able to show up for stuff like parent teacher conferences and work without raging hangovers. Now my biggest victories are pushing my boundaries into what I know my life was meant to be. Singing out audibly in yoga class when we chant. Reading what I wrote out loud in front of people. Every time I stretch I take my time because I know I need to, but sometimes I just push myself out of the boat. Sometimes my life is bigger than the boat anyway.

The thing about it taking a long time is this: time is for the taking. I can take time to build my life, or I can take time to drink it away. It’s the same 24 hours every day. It will all pass regardless, marching on no matter if you’re blackout drunk or on your way to writing class.