10(ish) lessons I've "learned" in my 20s.

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I turn 30 on Tuesday (heads up, pretty much all of my recent posts are going to say this). A new year is always something to celebrate, but this decade mark is the first time that I feel like I can look back and see specific experiences and moments in each of the last ten years that enriched my internal and external perspectives. While my first two decades certainly shaped the core of who I am, 20-30 watched me navigate the whole being-who-I-am thing in the midst of shifting contexts, AKA turning into an adult. And so, because I am an INFJ (and obviously the coolest person you know), I present 10(ish) lessons I've "learned" in my 20s.

(Ish) because there's more than 10. "Learned" because, welp, I'm still learning most of them.

20: Being a "floater" is a positive thing. This was the year that I felt separate from what I had considered to be my closest group of friends--but in striking out on my own I realized that I was actually close with a number of different groups and individuals across campus. This was a gift in that it gave me a variety of people and friendships (still does!), and it also reminded me that the friend I can truly always count on is myself.

21: Home can mean many places. Building on those lessons of friendship, 21 took me to England for a semester, my first time truly away from places where I felt "at home"--and then Norwich and the University of East Anglia became home too. Would it have continued to feel that way if I'd been there longer for 3 months, or would homesickness have taken over? Who knows. But it taught me that I could get to know a place that was once completely unknown. "Wasn't it amazing? " people would ask when I returned to the States. And the answer was, no, it wasn't amazing--not in the way that they meant it. What amazed me was that I could find a church and a favorite cereal, not to mention friends, in a brand-new place, and that it became normal. That feeling returned when I interned at a church in Virginia the next summer, another city and people that by the end, I hated to leave.

22: Bite the bullet and share your feelings, even if rejection follows. Oof, 22 held a lot of lessons (including "Even when you graduate from college and it feels like the world is ending, you will survive"), but this is the one that feels most important. Having the reassuring schedule of academia ripped out from under me made me feel vulnerable in a myriad of ways, and that led me to reach out to a couple of guys I liked more directly than I ever had before. None of them ended how I would have liked at the time, but I felt (how many more times can I say "feel" in this paragraph, y'all?) a sense of power that came with being honest, coming to accept reality rather than clinging to the long-standing "what if?" purgatory that had been hounding my head/heart, and ultimately moving forward.

23: Keep meeting new people and trying new things. This was the year I traveled to Nigeria, met my future husband, landed my first full-time job, made "real world" friends, moved into my own place, got to know my new city, developed my own routine--became my own adult, really. 

24: Living by yourself is important. My mom always stressed to me the importance of living alone for at least a period of time in your life, and I plan to say the same to my own children someday. It was important for my personal growth to find and secure a place to live, pay my own rent and bills, decorate my home how I wanted, stay up late cooking dinner, host guests, feel the sense of quiet that took over at night when I was the only being inside the house.

25: Stay in touch with people who matter. In the midst of Phase I of friends-getting-married that began around this time, I was consistently reminded of how much it meant to me to be able to witness people that I had known for years now experiencing another milestone in their lives--and then dance like crazy afterwards. Nourishing these bonds even from a distance has made a difference.

26: Make the trip home for that final goodbye. Until I walked out the door to my car, the spontaneous trip felt difficult to justify--but of course some of that was denial that it was even happening or necessary at all. Thankfully, my gut (and my mother) was right. And I'll never regret it.

27: You do not have to be who you were as a child. This was the year we moved back home and got married and I started a new job. It was tough. I loved being back in beloved spaces, but sometimes it seemed like I had to "combat" the childhood perspective of me that old friends held, because that's how they still saw me. The best way to get over this, I determined, was to be myself as I am now, and to not apologize for being different than my child/teen self, or play into expectations. (The passage of time helped, too.)

For these two most recent years, 28 and 29, I'm moved to share two lessons each--one inward, one outward (some of both, really).

28:
A) Cultivate habits to lower stress. At the end of 27, I was feeling fraught about numerous things, mostly brought on by a dreaded doctor's appointment that wouldn't come for months. I felt panicky and anxious more than I ever had, in the car, at night, lots of places. The appointment came and went with no major revelation, which helped, but I still had this sense that I was now "conditioned" to experience stress and panic in ways that I hadn't before. And then a woman in my small group mentioned the Headspace app, which I actually made time for in the mornings to practice meditation. I returned to an old habit of journaling. I thought more consciously about breathing. It didn't all fix itself right away, but I slowly started to feel a difference.

B) Accomplishing difficult goals is possible (and rewarding). It took me four years after college to finally decide to pursue an MFA in creative writing. And then it took an arduous two years of reading, writing, and even teaching (all while holding down a full-time job) to reach graduation with a completed manuscript. Sometimes, looking back, I can barely believe that I actually did it. I'm not really sure how I did. But I know it took work, encouragement, days of inspiration, days of flatness, reading on the bus and writing on weekends, and the ever-strong influence of deadlines and people counting on me. I look back at that achievement because it wasn't something that I necessarily expected of myself--it wasn't a required step like other schooling had been. It was a step I chose, a step I chose to stick with and complete.

29:
A) It's okay to say no. I've always been a people-pleaser, which I used to think translated into pleasing myself (if no one's mad at me, if everyone likes me, I'm pretty easy to please). But I've reached a point in the past 12 months where there were some extracurriculars on my plate that I wanted to be doing in theory, but not in actuality. I had to acknowledge the difference there. The only reason I was still doing them was because I didn't want to let down people who I care about. That might come off sounding a little selfish, and in this case, I think it's okay. These days, I'm keeping my personal priorities in mind: self, family, health, friends, writing, reading, things that strengthen my mind and my soul (and sometimes a good old-fashioned 21st century binge-watch).

B) The ongoing fight for justice and equality in this country requires white people to actively acknowledge the evils of white supremacy and white privilege and push against them. Seek justice using the strengths of your own personality. Listen and learn without feeling defensive or accused. White guilt is unnecessary and useless. Self-awareness is key. This is a post in itself, to be sure, but all of these lessons have risen to the surface for me this year, and I'm looking forward to continuing to explore and act on them as my 30s get underway.  

That last bold bit of 29B strikes me: Self-awareness is key. If I could sum up my 20s in one phrase (ha), I think that would be it.

Bring on the next decade!

P.S. Not gonna lie, the collage was fun to make.

Notes from a someday mother.

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This Mother's Day, something happened for the first time: I got wished a Happy Mother's Day.

On three separate occasions. At two grocery stores (before 9 a.m., with my husband, no children in sight) and at our lunch spot (at noon, with my husband, no children in sight).

(Seems strange to me that a mother around my age celebrating Mother's Day would not have her children with her. Might mean that she's not a mother, eh? Context clues: they really can help in social situations.)

No hesitation from those who wished it, until I gave a brittle chuckle and said faux-brightly, "Not yet!"

**

My husband and I don't have kids, but we want them someday, and what someday means is up to us—except, you know, not entirely.

Now that it's September, I can officially say that I'm turning 30 next month, and I'm excited about it. (Get pumped, readers: I've already been working on my 30 things to do before I turn 31 list.) I'm not feeling the need to say, "It's my second 29th birthday!" I'm genuinely looking forward to a new decade.

As I finish up my twenties a married woman, and women my age are starting to have children, it feels more and more like maternal instincts are expected of me. Instincts that are (evidently) supposed to be "natural." That bothers me a lot more than the idea of turning 30.

**

This spring at small group, one member brought her beautiful new baby for us to meet. Apart from me, most of the others are already mothers. They passed the infant around the circle easily, cooing and giving her a bottle, giving the new mom some time to breathe and vent.

When it was my turn, I took the baby somewhat awkwardly from the person next to me, and paused. I wasn't sure how to position her. Should I tuck her head in the crook of my arm, or try and lift her up to my shoulder? She had just eaten; was she going to spit up on me? I don't know how to burp an infant. I loved reading The Baby-Sitters Club but I always hated actual baby-sitting. I don't know what to do.

In that moment, it felt like every woman in the room was watching me.

It felt like they were expecting me to feel something I very much didn't.

It felt like I didn't even want to try and hold the baby the right way (sorry, baby, I'm horrible), so that I wouldn't satisfy (what I interpreted to be) their expectation.

Then someone said something. Exasperated, short.

"Come on, Claire, you know how to do it!"

Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm basically the opposite of a rebel, in the traditional sense. No curfew issues, no groundings as a teenager. But I've learned that one of my biggest sources of rebellion as an adult is to be passive aggressive. To not try.

I didn't want to try and hold the baby the right way, especially after that comment. Even though many of these women are my close friends and role models (and people I’d want to emulate as a mom), this moment spurred an internal and external rebellion against showing the mothering tendency that it's assumed I even have. Because if I show that I do have it, then I'm conforming to what women are supposed to be in the eyes of our world, what has been seen for millennia as a woman's highest calling.

**

I don't love that I'm a passive aggressive rebel. But I do recognize it. It happens in other scenarios, too. And I'm working on it. Slowly.

Granted, there are some ways that I "rebel" against what society thinks a woman should be by just...being...me. I don't like makeup, the idea of a having a wedding hashtag made me cringe, and it took me forever to understand the appeal of skinny jeans (finally got there on that one, though). Most of that is because I'm incredibly low-maintenance, always have been (what's this hairdryer contraption you speak of?). But a bit of it is that proactive sense of... wanting to be different. Not wanting to be told how meaning should come into my life.  

**

How meaning should come into my life.

Because that's what it's really about, right? Children equal meaning, the greatest meaning there is, at least according to our "family values" society (remind me how that works again, no-paid-family-leave, anti-insurance-for-all, I-could-go-on U.S. government?). Raising a human to be, well, human (or their particular brand of it), and to see how they grow and learn and start to find meaning in their own lives. I certainly agree—that whole journey is chock full of meaning.

But that doesn't mean that's all there is. And I think my fear is that I will narrow myself down in meaning and purpose. To sound like the incredibly selfish almost 30-year-old that I sound like right now, I don't want all of my meaning to be wrapped up in someone else's. I want who I am as a person, not just a mother, to still matter when I'm breastfeeding and running after toddlers and picking up middle schoolers. And I don't want to lose value now, when I'm not a mother.

I didn't want that group of women to look at me cradling that baby and think, "Wow, someday Claire is going to be even more valuable to the world than she is right now—when she becomes a mom."

Reality check: They love me. They most likely didn’t think that. I am probably projecting that thinking onto them. Why take the time to think that about me when there’s a cute baby to focus on?

I'm going to be getting lots of concerned looks at church next week because of this blog post, aren’t I?

**

Maybe not concerned looks, but I do imagine that mothers are reading this and shaking their heads at my limited view. I promise: I know I can't even understand a fraction of motherhood right now. That’s probably why I’m coming off defensive and passive aggressive—because I do hold some fear and apprehension about the whole concept.

While I'm happy with my current life, if I look forward down the road and see us without kids, I feel deep regret. As a child of two amazing people, I have a taste of the joys and rewards that a positive parent/child relationship can bring. I want to see my husband be the fantastic father that I know he’ll be. I want that next adventure with him.

But I don't want it to be assumed or expected of me, just because I'm a married woman about to turn 30. Or a woman, period.

Does that make me a walking, talking, writing contradiction? To announce that I want something, but then demand that it not be assumed of me? This is getting complicated.

(I should also note strongly and with much gratitude that my parents and in-laws are wonderful, non-nosy and supportive human beings when it comes to someday grandchildren, not to mention in all other aspects of life. Any pressure I feel comes from the outside—society, or people who don't know me very well.)

**

A few weeks ago, I posted a photo of me holding my new niece. She'd had trouble settling down, but she was on her way to a nap when I took her, and I knew my sister-in-law was snapping photos, so I smiled. I posted one of the photos on social media and got the comment, "You look like a natural with that baby!"

Full disclosure: I adore my new niece, and I love the person who made this comment very much. But I wondered:

Why do I look like a natural? Because I'm a woman, holding a fairly calm baby, and smiling? Is that all it takes? And I felt the rigidity of my internal rebellion flare up again. What if I don't want to be a natural?

Well, that's where my passive aggressiveness gets a bit absurd if it hadn’t already; of course I want to be a natural. That makes child-rearing sound simple, right? But just like the truth behind the photo, I know that's not the case (I replied to the comment, "Looks can be deceiving!").

I imagine every mother wants to be a natural, and doesn't get that wish. Or is a "natural" in some ways, but not in others. Either way, what gave me the qualifications to even look like a natural to begin with? I certainly don't feel like a natural now, and I'm guessing that feeling will go even farther south as soon as we bring our first child home from the hospital. With that, I'm not declaring that I'll be a terrible mother—I'm just not expecting, from all firsthand reports, for it to be easy. 

**

I haven't even broached the fact that this takes on a whole new level if you struggle to have children or have lost children. The irrational, overly-sensitive part of me who takes far too much lucky/unlucky stock in "be careful what you wish for" fears that even writing these emotions out to process them will make my uterus reluctant. Another absurdity I pray I won't hold too close, blame I pray I won’t assign. But I can only imagine the heartstrings it tears to hear a carefree "Happy Mother's Day!" (at the grocery check out, of all mundane places) and not be annoyed, but devastated, because you so desperately wish that it were true.

**

I wrote this post over a week ago, and have sat with it since. I'm not sure my wordiness has captured what I'm trying to say. I'm certain that I’ve missed other perspectives that are just as valid. But all I can authentically share is my own—and what else is writing for but to process these moments so that they yield not regret, but growth?

Part of me feels like I should keep this tucked away in my private journal. That’s because it’s perhaps the most fraught piece I’ve ever considered delivering into the world—and I deeply don’t want it to be taken the wrong way, especially by the people I care most about. My best friends are starting to have kids, and I’m thrilled for them. I do, indeed, adore my new niece, and already relish seeing her grow. My husband will be a wonderful dad and I’m excited to be a parent with him. And yet here I am, writing this.

Who cares what I think, anyway? It’s just adding another voice to the din. 

But then there are the other women that I’ve talked to who nod their heads, eyes full of understanding.

**

When I talked to my non-Facebook mother about what I had written (after a baby shower, of all things), we discussed how social media comes into play in terms of how I view parenthood. It’s overwhelming, I said, as I tried to describe to her the bombardment of information, stories, photos, opinions, videos, articles—and I’m not even a parent yet. It made me think about how much social media plays into my response to potential parenthood more than I realize. And maybe I need to remember that while I can’t fully control whether or not I’m a “natural” at parenting, I can control how much or how little I want to be a part of the bombardment.

(Maybe it’s easier to say that as a non-parent. That’s a possibility, too.)  

**

Dear someday children,

If you stumble upon this long-ago post after we give you your first smartphone (so you're at least 18, right?), please know that you were and always have been so deeply loved. This piece is not about not wanting you. This piece is about unpacking thoughts that I need to unpack before you come along, about figuring out how I can be, probably not a natural, but a true-to-myself parent in a world that has a lot of expectations and opinions on the subject. I'm sure there will be plenty more to process once you get here, and knowing me, I should start now.

Because I'm not just going to be your mother. In fact, that’s going to be the newest thing that I am, though I’m sure we’ll get the hang of it together. But first I am Claire, the writer (and thus over-thinker), the introvert, the people person, the alto, the Hufflepuff, the Wildcat, the reader, the traveler, the homebody, the photographer, the God seeker, the daughter, the wife, the sister, the coworker, the friend.

**

On Father's Day, we went through our normal morning grocery store routine again. "Happy Father's Day!" the cashier wished my husband, then added, "If you're a dad."

I had been granted no "if" on Mother's Day.

World, all I want is that "if." That "I recognize that there's more to you than simply your physical ability to produce offspring and keep them alive!"

Because I'm so much more than that.

And yes: my so much more will feed into my chosen motherhood. It will contribute to whatever element of “natural” parent that I someday grow into.

But, most importantly, that so much more already feeds me now. And I am truly grateful.

Fine Folks//Creative Callings: Harper Addison, Dancer/Choreographer

Well, it's been a yearlong break from this series, and I thought it was high time we got back to it. You can read more about my intentions here, but the bottom line is this: in the midst of our chaotic world, there are good people living out (or figuring out!) their callings in intentional, innovative, and joy-filled ways. I feel lucky enough to know some of these human beings (and always love being connected to more), and thought it would be great to hear from them in their own words about what moves them to live and create the way they do. Kicking us back into gear is Harper Addison, with whom I share a hometown (ATL) and an alma mater (Davidson). Harper is an incredible dancer and choreographer, and I've enjoyed keeping up with her latest creative venture, The Iteration Project (TIP), "an online community of artists and creatives from around the world joining forces and making work." I talked with Harper about her motivation behind the project, and her thoughts on some of the challenges that artists of all sorts face today.

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This first question is two-fold: 1) When did you first start dancing, and 2) when did you first begin to see yourself as an artist/creator? Did those two things begin simultaneously, or did your identity as an artist develop more over time?

I actually don’t remember when I first started dancing. Both my mom and my aunt were/are dancers and I grew up with it around me all the time. It was just a part of life. If I have a cousin who is 2.5 years older than I am and we grew up dancing together. She obviously started before me, but we were like two peas in a pod. If I had to put an age on it, I think I started officially taking classes around 3 or 4. Baggy pink tights and tiny ballet shoes. Pretty hilarious.

Even though my mother and my aunt both gave my cousin and me opportunities to create and encouraged our home productions, we never called ourselves artists. Even while choreographing at Davidson or in New York, I never called myself a creator or an artist. The term “artist” always felt so heavy and like this thing that was beyond me. It felt like you had to do certain things to claim that title. It wasn’t until graduate school that I began to realize that we are all artists in the truest sense of the word, without any of that extra fluff of what we think an artist should be, should look like, should create.

You explain on The Iteration Project website that it grew out of your move from California back east to Tennessee--in your words, "I found more space and freedom to create but less community to create within." Is this a dichotomy that you expected when you moved, or did it become clearer after you had arrived in Knoxville?

The short answer is, yes, I expected it, but it also changed and became clearer in new ways after I had arrived. I certainly expected the community to be small, and it is (definitely in comparison to San Francisco). But it is also far deeper and more vibrant in ways that I never expected. There’s also an amazing dance company, New Dialect, directed by Banning Bouldin in Nashville. I knew they were there and doing incredible things, so I thought if nothing else happens, at least I’ll have that resource a few hours away. Banning and New Dialect have proven themselves to be invaluable, but the Knoxville community has also been such a wonderful surprise and welcomed me with open arms.

The other part of the equation is that I didn’t realize was how stifled I was in San Francisco. The dance community there is pretty established. As a new member of the community, you feel you have to fit into one of the many camps that already exist. It feels like it’s hard to strike out on your own or blaze new trails because there are existing expectations from other artists and from audience members. Not to mention, it’s just hard to make work. The city is expensive and rental space is expensive. You exert an inordinate amount of energy surviving, which leaves little time and energy left to create. I never realized how much of a toll this was taking. I just thought that maybe I had already made all the good work I was going to make.

When I moved to Knoxville, it suddenly felt like this massive freedom to have no expectations, no established community, to find a small pocket of wonderful dancers that are aching to perform and make work, and to have beautiful rental space for $5/hr instead of $20. I definitely learned a lot about myself in the move: I need a lot of space, both physical and mental, I need to have enough energy to take advantage of the space, and I need to be doing the creative thing every day.

Was TIP the solution that came to you immediately, or did you think of other possibilities to find creative community?

TIP was it. The idea came to me in pieces over a relatively short period of time as I learned about what my own needs were as a creator. Of course, I dove into integrating myself in the existing Knoxville community, but I didn’t want to get isolated or insulated by it. I knew I had to stay connected not only to San Francisco but to all of my other colleagues and graduate school friends around the country.

By the time I had all of the major pieces figured out—a way to stay accountable to creating, a way to go to the studio with a purpose, a way to stay connected to others—the idea seemed so obvious I had to keep asking myself if I was missing something. Like, why wasn’t this happening already?! Had someone already done this? Maybe they have! I just haven’t found it yet.

Photo: Rick McCullough

Photo: Rick McCullough

I love the weekly prompts you send out; they're so varied and rich. Can you share a little bit about how you've come up with them (if it's not a secret!)?

It’s definitely not a secret, and I’m happy to share! I come up with them on my own from anything that sparks my interest. I personally love using literature and poetry as a prompt, but I try to keep a good mix of literal and abstract ideas so that there’s something for everyone, and everyone is challenged at some point.

When you have the task of creating prompts and you know you have to have one every week, you start looking around for ideas. The more you look, the more you see. The more you see, the more you want to keep looking. Lucky for me, it’s a positive feedback loop. It’s really just the creative process!

How has TIP created more community for you, personally, as a dancer and choreographer? And what have you heard from other participants about how it has impacted or changed their creative habits and community?

In the process of trying to grow TIP, it has forced me to reach out to colleagues and former professors I haven’t spoken to in a while. It has forced me to ask for help and really build a community for myself, so that I can work on building it for all of The Iteration Project's members.

As a member of the community, I love seeing how everyone responds to the prompts each week and finding inspiration in their individual and unique points of view. As a choreographer, you can get stuck in your habits and in your safe space. Getting to see how others move, think, and share, is so refreshing. I’ve enjoyed taking the TIP prompts into rehearsals to explore with dancers, and also using them as a jumping off point in my courses.

Lastly, artists tend to be solo creatures. The focus can be on the individual and how the individual is climbing the ranks in the larger landscape, rather than how they’re supporting it. It takes a village, and I think we forget that in the race to produce work and get our work seen. The Iteration Project is a village, and because of that it’s a continual reminder to reach out, to comment, to like, to support each other. The only other alternative is for TIP to cease to exist.

You say on the site, "The key for creativity is to continue to create, everyday." From my writer's perspective, that means consistently sitting in the chair and plunking words down, even if they're crappy to begin with. I'm curious how you as a dancer and performer approach the daily creative process. I imagine it might have some parallels to the writer's (same time each day? same space? etc.), but I'm wondering if there's anything different about the two, especially since the writer's is often more physically sedentary.

Yes, yes, yes. The same is definitely true for me and for dancers and choreographers in general. You take classes because if you don’t, you regress. You make, because if you don’t, you lose your skills. You create because it’s a practice, and you create whether or not what you make is any good. The simple act of making something is what’s important. By making something consistently, you’ll continually get better.

I personally don’t have a set time and space to make each day. But others certainly do. The physical aspect is interesting, because sometimes you just don’t feel like getting up and moving. But as dancers, that’s what we’re trained to do and so we’re used to doing it whether we feel great or horrible. I think the creative process is largely universal. You get up and you get to work. Some move, some write, but ultimately, you make.

Has TIP changed how you create, or how you work with other dancers as an educator?

It has definitely made me realize that making is not like riding a bike. You can’t just get back on after a 10-year hiatus and ride it like you did when you were a kid. Now that I know that, I know I have to do it consistently to feel comfortable doing it at all. The minute I stop engaging in some creative act each day, I feel like the mountain is too high to climb and I hesitate to start. It’s a bit like Sisyphus, in that you just have to keep doing it. You don’t have a choice. Because if you don’t keep doing it, you’ll likely walk away from it with the likelihood of picking it back up diminishing with each passing day.

A piece about The Iteration Project was featured in DANCE Magazine in April, which to me says that you are definitely addressing a need that creative minds besides your own are seeking. What are some of the conversations you've had with others (in dance or otherwise) about this need?

The conversations I’ve had with others have mostly focused on artists leaving the nation’s large art centers either because the cost of living is so high, or because the competition to survive and thrive is too great. We live in a huge country with a lot of opportunity, but for artists, those opportunities tend to be concentrated in a select few places. We have to change the landscape in order for it to be possible for artists and creators to feel like they can truly live and work in the places that inspire them.

I feel like one of the biggest barriers to changing that aspect of the landscape is isolation. As an individual, if you have to make a choice between being isolated or being in an over-saturated market, being in a known community versus uncharted territory, you’re going to choose the known saturated market. That market at least has the community, even if the resources are stretched thin. It takes a lot of work and a lot of energy to strike out on your own and build something from scratch in an unknown market. The hope is that TIP is making that more possible by meeting artists halfway and providing a community, providing inspiration. The only thing they have to do is to take advantage of it and create their own practice.

What would you say to the "closet creatives" out there, who might be nervous about submitting a prompt response, or sharing their creative gifts in general?

I totally get it and I hear you. There are days when it takes all day to muster the confidence to post or to share. But the thing is, once you do it, you realize that there is no right or wrong. There is no good or bad. There just is. If you don’t share it, how will we ever know about you? You are a gift to the community. We want to hear your voice. We need to hear your voice because without you the community doesn’t exist. You are crucial.

The beauty about a community is that it takes everyone. It takes young and old, professionals and amateurs. Closet creatives and weekend warriors. We are all better off because of you. So please share.

As you approach the one-year anniversary of TIP prompts, what are you looking forward to in your own creative life and in the life of this community you've built up? 

Yes! Almost to one year of prompts! I’m looking forward to creating more in my own life. I’m working on a full-length evening performance of my work right now. That feels pretty daunting and terrifying, but I know it’s something that I have to do if for no other reason than to learn some very valuable lessons.

As far as the community goes, every time someone new shares something, I do a little dance. I love it. I’m looking forward to the community continuing to grow. To helping people find collaborators. To building our own platform where people can share, and developing some new and exciting accountability and inspiration opportunities for members. There’s a lot in the pipeline right now that I can’t say too much about, but that I’m so excited for. I guess you’ll just have to stay tuned to see what’s next!