I am a few hours short of becoming a Certified Journal to the Self Workshop Instructor (through The Center for Journal Therapy). I will have business cards, a brochure, a website (hopefully) and a whole new career ahead of me (again, hopefully). I am very excited by this prospect.
Let me tell you how this all began.
I have been writing a journal forever, well, for the last 24 years anyway. 12 years ago my sister gave me Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way and I took to Morning Pages like a new religion (well, for me and my newly heathen ways, it was a religion and a good one too). A few years later I was given (once again by my very insightful and great gift-giving sister) A Voice of Her Own by Marlene A. Schiwy. Two amazing books which, as I can see now, were stepping stones in the journey towards my future life.
When we moved to Mississippi as I mentioned in this post and this one that I was driven to do something creative. I was a new stay-at-home mother in a new world (because Mississippi is not on the same planet as Vermont) and I was determined to stay sane, stay productive, stay me, and stay off soap operas. Actually, I wanted to be more Me than I ever had been before. Since age 22 I had been a 9-5er who aspired to something more, but who used her job as a convenient excuse not to do a damn thing about it. "If only I had the time... the energy... the turret... the right pen... o, then I'd be a REAL writer, an artist, a SOMETHING... whine, whine, whine."
In downtown Hattiesburg, MS there is a tiny bagel cafe on the corner of an old building that shakes as the trains pass within feet of its doors two or three times a day. In this shabby, comfortable anachronism with the handsome model-turned-bagel baker behind the counter, I dreamed up and pursued an idea for a journal workshop for women. While Little Lady was at the local church pre-school for her 3 hours of much-needed social interaction I would read and plan, plan and write.
I taught one four-evening course at the local bookstore to a tiny group of women. It was well received and I was well pumped-up. My plan was to slighty revise the curriculum according to the feedback from the group and offer another workshop. So much for plans. I was taking a writing course, I was having another baby, and I was moving back to Vermont.
However, in my efforts to revise the workshop and open it to men, I had come across a book by Kathleen Adams, and consequently discovered The Center for Journal Therapy. Yada yada yada...
OK, so now I have a certification under my belt (or will, shortly) and now need somewhere to teach. In this post I told about a writer's symposium I attended. It was there I met a lovely, inspirational author and workshop leader named Joni B. Cole. Now, once upon a time, shy me would NEVER have 1) attended a writing workshop where I might have to share my drivel and possibly confirm my suspicions that I was not, and will never be a Writer, or 2) casually chat with an author as if I had some god-given right to do so - Lord, no! But that was old me. Before I had met my good friends Confidence and Serendipity.
It turns out that Joni lives in a town about an hour from my home, the very town to which my sister (ya know, the one who seems to have had an on-going, yet unwitting influence on my creative life thus far) has just, as in last month, moved (from the other side of the continent). So what? you say. Just wait...
Joni operates the Writer's Center in that town (the one an hour away where my sister - who has a spare bedroom and a willingness to babysit her niece and nephew) and she wants to talk to me about offering... drumroll, please... a Journal Workshop...
Yada, yada, ya-serendipity.