sharing my story #sol

Even after many rewrites and revisions, my essay wasn’t Modern Love column worthy, so the rejection email from the editors wasn’t a surprise. Still, the writer in me was ready to test some version of my story with an audience. When my colleague who arranges for speakers at our weekly Upper School chapel wrote to me asking if I could step in on short notice to fill an unexpected vacancy, I jumped at the chance and got to work tinkering with my piece, reframing it in a way that I hoped would resonate with 300 or so ninth-twelfth graders and 30 ish adults. As I often do, I turned to trusted colleagues who knew the audience well, to test my thinking. While I’d taught quite a few of these students when they were in our Lower School, I did not know their teenage selves well.

When the moment to speak came, a calm came over me, replacing the nerves I’d worked to keep in check for the previous hour. After, as students filed out of the auditorium, and nearly every day since, I have heard from someone about what they heard, felt, thought. The feedback ranges from simple to stunning. And I am reminded of the power of sharing our stories.

A recording of the story I shared is here. My part begins around minute 19.

7 thoughts on “sharing my story #sol

  1. It was wonderful to hear your voice, as a response to this post. And it made me think of audiences, in general. We are taught to teach “write for your audience”…but sometimes, we write and wait for the right audience. The presence of one isn’t necessary for our words to get to the page. Thanks for a thoughtful post!

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  2. I listened to your story and was amazed. Some of the story I had heard before through reading your blog, but it was wonderful to watch you tell it and listen to your voice. I always feel that I know fellow bloggers even though we’ve never met. And now I have a face to go with your words!

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  3. For what it’s worth, I loved it! And I’m so glad that you were able to reach people with your story, even if it wasn’t through Modern Love. What a special feeling 🙂

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  4. I am always eager for a story but this one was overwhelming. Didn’t know that the story would be a personal narrative. I am glad that you belong to your siblings and it was brave of you to not only try to find and connect with your blood but also to share it with everyone. Hugs and much love to you!

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  5. Lisa, I not only read your slice but was drawn to listening to your speech. It was moving, and touching, and I felt so excited for you when I finished listening. I can see why you received accolades for your story. Sharing your story reminds me that each one of us has a story/stories that describes our human experience in different ways. Kudos to you for sharing your story of belonging and becoming with a large audience.

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