Sometimes mentors fall into your lap unexpectedly. There's a famous saying that when the student is ready the master appears. That's exactly what happened to me.
About 3 years ago my dear friend's son, only 15 years old, jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. 22 days later, my brother died unexpectedly. Then 3 months after that, my father passed away. Two months later, my daughter had a close friend, age 10, pass away from brain cancer. Just 18 months ago my favorite uncle passed away under circumspect conditions. I coped through bereavement group and my writing, always writing. It is my refuge, my safe space.
About a year ago my bereavement group counselor mentioned a solo performance about grief from a playwright coming to San Francisco. She encouraged all of us to check it out. Ann Randolph was the performer and writer. So I went by myself on a Sunday afternoon. None of my kids or husband wanted to go to a play about grief.
What ensued was a hilarious roller coaster ride of emotions during the performance! It wasn't a sad experience at all. It was multi faceted and brilliant, not unlike life. At the end of the play, Ann had us all write for 5 minutes our entire life in sentences as if someone was going to say YAY and BOO after each sentence. Our life was a series of YAYS and BOOS. She was sparking something in me. I knew if she ever had writing classes in the Bay Area I would just have to go.
As luck would have it, last spring her fancy resort classes far away were canceled because the bridge to the area where she was going to be in residence was broken. Usually her intensive 5-8 day workshops are too expensive for me. Usually she is very far away from San Francisco. She is here! She is in my budget! So I signed up and am in her 8 week write your life workshop
During the past 2 years I took 3 other writing workshops with her. They were 2 day weekend workshops.
What I thought was going to be a fiction workshop for my daughter, who requested I learn how to write preteen angst mixed with cooking, turned into something else altogether.
Ann Randolph, my mentor, has a way of changing my life, to pull out of me something I never wrote about or shared before. She freed my stories of being a victim of sexual abuse, which I suffered from age 7-12. She allowed me to write about it, talk about it, and read what I wrote aloud in a fiction and non fiction manner with truth and authenticity in a room full of people. The experience was juxtaposed with the sharing of the outpouring of never ending love from my large Jewish family, especially my mother.
The roller coaster ride continues. I am immensely grateful that my writing mentor showed up in my life randomly, a casual mention by my bereavement counselor. She has become a light in my life.
Thank you for allowing my to share my story. Do you want to share your story with me?
Author and Creator of the Superior Self series
Visit me at www.superiorselfwithkjlandis.com