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Next Life, NO Kids: Our Power Is Not Unique

April 29, 2014

Our Power Is Not Unique

Usually when I experience something that leaves me feeling overly emotional, it takes me a while to process. I put off writing about it so that I have time to analyze my feelings before sharing. Obviously, it's super helpful to know how you feel about something before you blast it all over the Internet. 

After the Listen To Your Mother Boston show, I was feeling overly everything. I'm still not sure how I feel about the overall experience. It was, by far, the most emotionally exhausting, amazing, heart-wrenching, beautiful thing I've experienced since I joined the blogging world. 

The day of the show, I got gussied; like, really dressed up. I struggle to remember the last time I put that much effort into my appearance. I dusted off an old black dress I haven't been able to squeeze into since before babies, and I purchased some hot pink pumps that screamed "I'm sexy, Bitch."

It was a step out of my comfort zone, and into a powerful emotional rainstorm; the kind that leaves wet hair matted to your face; one that left me feeling grateful to be alive and able to feel so intensely. I have always been "a crier," and there are days I can't get through an AT&T commercial without a tear. This was brutal. It was messy, and life changing.  

The rehearsals had me both laughing and crying hysterically. The bravery of these new friends and their stories of survival, empowerment, and wit amazed me in ways I couldn't understand at the time. I knew I loved these women right away; I just didn't understand the importance or significance of that love... until after the show.

I knew only one of the fourteen prior to the event, but after that first rehearsal, where we simply sat in a circle and shared our truths, I knew everyone in that room intimately. With every word they uttered, each of them wove their way into my heart and found a home. I have no doubt that they will remain there for the rest of my life. 

I read Because Life Was On The List, and struggled to hold back tears. It was so nice to have such an amazing group of women behind me. 

Joanna ~ A tiny spitfire, and a beautiful force to be reckoned with.  She read her piece Motherhood is a Web of Lies which was both hilarious and thought provoking. 

Cameron ~ A woman that has a profoundly loving presence that she may not even be aware of. The Roasting Pan and the Expanded Heart was a gorgeous story about the threads that tie us together as mothers and the connections that make us who we are. 

Diane ~ The only woman I knew before the show; soft spoken and always friendly, she has an amazing spirit and light that beams when she smiles. Her story Unusual Keepsakes From My Mom made me sad, but also grateful for tradition and the wonderful memories we can create with the simplest of things.

Kristin ~ Beautiful inside and out, with an unspeakable strength that I believe surprises her every day. Finding Hope Through the One Way Mirror provided inspiration and proof that the words, "Me too," are powerful beyond measure.

Janet ~ HILARIOUS and super-cute. I'm pretty sure I fell in love with her immediately after she opened her mouth, but The Back to School Serenity Prayer solidified that love forever. Seriously, the Vatican could learn a lesson or two from this woman.

Mary ~ "The Cool Mom," that she so clearly is shocked and inspired me with her story of Jesse in, Is She or Isn't She. Her presence was calming and reassuring, and I fear she has no idea that she has everything to do with why her daughter is so beautifully accepting. 

Chandreyee ~ POWERHOUSE of love and strength. Her story of the red kidney tray and her First Unborn had me feeling from the depths of my soul. The bravery it requires to process and find peace with such an experience is both beyond stunning and admirable.  

Cheryl ~ A kind and generous soul. She read her story of how a mother's love defies distance and time and the routine that finds her with her own mother every night at The Kitchen Sink. Her mother joined us for the show and I nearly broke down when they both cried at the end of this story. Powerful.

Tina ~ Mother of the Year. Her witty and hilarious story of The Thinking Girl's Thong invited us inside the process of acceptance that little girl is growing up, and the amazing ability to respect even the tiniest symbols of empowerment. 

Angie ~ Her astonishing willingness to show vulnerability was astounding and uplifting. Her story of Unspeakable Sacrifices dug deep into my chest and pulled at every dangling heart string. I could have hugged this woman for a year. 

Alexandra Elizabeth ~ My new BFF. Although she was unable to join us for the show to read Loving My Surprise, her journey from scared teen-mom to amazingly powerful example is beyond inspiring.

Tim ~ A handsome guy who loves and respects his mother's talent and sacrifice. I'm Ready for My Close-Up is a piece that exuded love and admiration for Mom, even in the midst of struggle and confusion, Tim sees his mother as a human being and loves her anyway. Loved this so much.

Michelle ~ WOW. This woman is my absolute hero. She is the reason I will never be able to in good conscience ever have a valid excuse to not follow my dreams. WOW. In Bring It On!, she invites us into her life and lets us know that anything is possible as long as you keep showing up for life. 

Liz ~ Is there nothing this woman hasn't accomplished? Such an amazingly down to Earth, friendly, strong, and powerful woman. She holds the kind of ambitious strength that doesn't need to be spoken. When she walks into the room, she owns it. She also has amazing style! She sold me completely on her bill MOM41 in No More Mom and totally has my vote if she ever decides to run for president. 

I realized, after listening to all of these women share themselves again and again, why I loved them so much immediately. 

They are me.  

The power we bring is not unique, it is the way in which we use it that is. Being included in this group of amazing women left me feeling amazing. I don't always feel that way. I imagine they don't either. This event, these women, reminded me of the fierceness and endless possibilities of WOMEN. I wanted to roar...just typing this brings that feeling back. 

The hugs and sense of camaraderie after the show was breathtaking. I've always said that if I can reach one person and let them know they're not alone, it makes my pain make sense. I felt an extraordinary sense of purpose that day, and plan to hold on to it.

I would like to thank the director, Jessica and the producers Cheryl and Phyllis for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing show. They put it together in a way that provided the perfect flow of feeling and inspiration. 

It was a great show; one that has left me forever changed.

To read more about this event and the amazing women involved, please visit Listen To Your Mother Boston. 

photo credit Allycia Waxman Photography

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At 4/29/2014 , Anonymous Lisa Nolan said...

Awesome post, you rocked it. You're such an amazing writer. You could write a food menu and make people laugh and cry at the same time. YOU CAN QUOTE THAT ON YOUR BLOG.

At 4/29/2014 , Anonymous Ann Imig said...

I'm so glad you shared that story--it just might reach someone who can't feel that hope and desperately needs to believe it's out there. Thank you.

At 4/29/2014 , Anonymous Sandy Ramsey said...

What an amazing experience this must have been! Every person on this list has added something amazing and it sounds like true and lasting connections were made. What a blessing for your life and I am so happy for you!

At 4/29/2014 , Anonymous Joanna said...

You forgot to add yourself! So I will: Julie, warm, funny, fearless, and wise. I'm so thankful that you were willing to share such an important story about how hope can overcome despair. Your daughter will someday realize how lucky she is to have you!

This is beautiful, and makes me awestruck and proud all over again. I'm honored to have shared a stage with you!

At 5/07/2014 , Anonymous Her Royal Thighness said...

It sounds like such an incredible experience. I hope they videotaped this event, so we can experience these women's thoughts, feelings and powerful messages, even from afar!

At 5/27/2014 , Anonymous Considerer said...

Looking forward to when they get round to releasing it on YouTube. It sounds awesome, and I know Kristi was in one of the LTYM, and Kimberly, and Dana, and their pieces were INCREDIBLE. What a great collation of the creme de la creme :)

At 7/13/2014 , Anonymous Michele said...

Julie, I just watched your video, and WOW - thank you so much for your bravery in sharing your story. It is such an important one for other people to hear (& read, and see). LTYM was a similarly transformative experience for me, one for which I'll be forever grateful - not just for participating, but for being connected to other inspiring, talented women all across the country! Thanks again.


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