So, This Girl Walks Into a Ballroom…

I’m just going to stop right here and congratulate myself on the title of today’s blog. Pat-pat-pat, okay, that’s better.

This is the actual ballroom I was in!

I want to tell you guys a little bit about the adventure I have been on lately- I think it started with that nervous breakdown I had a few months ago that landed me on leave from work, pinging around my house like a rogue pinball for weeks. After I had burned up all that crazy energy and finally took a nap, I started to feel better. I started to do a lot of important work on myself. I thought I was just trying to get back to “normal”, but God had some other stuff in mind for me. He let me believe whatever I wanted to, of course, because it kept me out of the way of all the important stuff he was putting in place in my life. Then, when it was time for me to go back to work, to rejoin the “real” world, he let me have it.

“Voila!” He said, like a chef revealing the gorgeous meal he’s prepared, whipping the big, shiny, metal dome off the whole thing. But, of course, instead of food, it was my purpose that I found…though I suppose it was more of a re-discovery, than an actual revelation. See, I have known about my love affair with words since I was three-that’s right, THREE- when I started to read. If you would have asked me at age seven what I loved more than anything in the world, aside from my mom and my stuffed monkey, Jo-Jo (shut up), I would have told you “Books.”. In the fourth grade, I was reading at a college level. This is one of my favorite things to brag about, besides the whole reading at three thing.

Because of my love of reading, of words, and being given an imagination of epic proportions, the next natural step for me was writing. Had my life followed some other course than the one it had, I may have published my first novel in my early twenties and been outrageously wealthy by now. But my life took the course it did, into drugs and disarray and sorrow. I never stopped writing, but it was only my love for it that propelled me- there was no hope for publication, no dreams of success in a career, a craft, that I loved desperately.

Fast forward many years, to now. Okay, now rewind a couple of days…yep, right there. See that girl, well…that woman, really. The one over by the door, in the lobby of an enormous building in downtown San Francisco, waiting to ride up to a party full of other writers just like her? Does she look a little nervous to you? Heck, no. Β If she does, you are looking at the wrong girl!

So I went to this party thingy called the “Night of Writing Dangerously” in SF on Sunday night. It was amazing. It was Noir themed, so everyone was dressed up in these beautiful outfits, and, being that it was a writing event, we all had our lap tops. There was an open bar, and waiters walking around with giant trays of bacon wrapped shrimp, and skewers with all kinds of things on them. Then, they let us in the ballroom, and let me tell you…it was really the most elegant, amazing, fun, NOT boring thing I have ever been to.

My point is this- it stuns me, my reality now. How did I get from where I was, to where I am? I have said it before, and I will say it again- there is no logical path here. There is no freeway from the depravity and sickness of drug addiction to a girl in a ballroom, surrounded by everything that she loves in the world. Except, there is a way…there must be, because there I was. Here I am. Do you know how radical that is? Do you know what that means? That anyone, at any time, can change course, can start over, can get back to where they belong. ANYONE.

You know what else? Had my life not taken the path it did, I don’t know if my appreciation for where I am right now would be nearly as deep, nor would I be nearly as grateful. I have seen the other side of life, and THIS is sweet. Do you see how this is all connected? My past, my present, my future? My dreams and my reality? My mental state, my spirituality, the shape of my life? The necessity of all of this, all along? Every minute of it makes sense to me, right now. I am on the right path, on my way.

So, this girl walks into a ballroom…and she walks out, and she knows that this is where she was supposed to be, all along…but she could never have been here before now. I hope that makes sense to you. It makes perfect sense to me. Have an amazing day!

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12 thoughts on “So, This Girl Walks Into a Ballroom…

    1. Well, I guess everyone else just thought it fucking sucked. πŸ™‚ oh well…Seriously though, thanks Ben! You are the best. I want you to start saving right now and get your ass out here for next time, I’m so serious. We can party it up in SF together- don’t tell me no! It will be awesome! Please?

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      1. that sounds like an awesome fun time! I’ve never been to California much less San Fran… the sticking point of course would be the travel cost, though I have time to save towards it, in addition to raising the entry fee through fund-raising– hopefully I’d be as successful as you were πŸ™‚

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      2. Can’t quite check for flights on Orbitz or Priceline for next November, but checking for mid-October (which I’d guess would be similarly priced) it’s only $500… I’d actually hoped to maybe visit with some friends in Austin next year, so if I drop in a stop with them for a few days on the way back it’s only about $100 more. Seems doable if I squirrel away some money each month!

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      3. I have to admit, as someone who’s never been to California– heck, never really been much further than the Mid-Atlantic region– I’ve caught myself smiling and thinking about Night of Writing Dangerously 2013 and “partying it up in SF” quite a bit over the holiday πŸ™‚

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  1. I love the title and everything that followed, and yes it all makes sense. I imagine that all those experiences provide a— well shit I can’t express myself at all, perhaps others have the same problem and don’t want to go public with it. πŸ™‚
    I was trying to think of a way to say that they will be something you can draw on when you are writing. Maybe I should hire you to teach me how to write.

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