as i type this out, it’s still so surreal that i’ve been handed this insanely wonderful gift. this opportunity is one that has so many layers to it, so much potential for good and healing. let me start from the beginning….
see, i’ve been writing for as long as i can remember. i won the young author’s competition in elementary school and got to meet steven kellogg, the celebrated children’s author. i won an essay contest in middle school and in college, i wrote the arts and leisure section for our school newspaper. i also had a professor use my paper as a model for future students in his subsequent classes as an excellent example of rhetoric. i’ve always been passionate about writing. it’s always been a release for me, a way to express my innermost pain, happiness, anxieties, fears.
although i’d been commended for my writing often, i never truly believed i was any good at it. i never had confidence in my ability to write or convey my emotions. i just thought i had good grammar and mechanics so teachers liked my work. low self-esteem was my sidekick, and it still is far too frequently. i started blogging about four years back or so? i can’t remember. at first, it was just family reading and a friend or two. once i started using twitter, i found lots of bloggers that i loved and connected with and my readership grew. that’s about when my low self-esteem and fear of rejection showed up and started whispering in my ear and slowly eroding any ballooning confidence i was finding in my writing. my posts became more infrequent, yet i was getting more readers. what was going on here? was my writing really okay, or was that nagging, condescending voice in my head correct?
when i finally decided to get back to blogging, i knew my old space would no longer work. the title, desperately seeking silence, didn’t represent the person that i had become. in our struggle to conceive our third baby, i’d become thankful for the noise and chaos because it meant that we had children living in our home. that’s how this space came to be. my writing evolved as well, because i felt more at ease in my new space, it felt more like my virtual heart and soul. i started seeing calls for writers from large blogs that had contributing writers, like simple mom, a deeper story, etc. i always wanted to apply, every single time i’d see that some blog was seeking new writing talent. i actually went so far as to fill out the entire application for the disney social media moms contest, only to leave it languishing in my drafts folder.
then we lost our baby.
everything changed. i wasn’t going to stand on the edge and look down any longer. i was determined to jump, and not just once but at every opportunity i was presented with. we live this crazy, beautiful, painful, fruitful life only once. we get one time to do this, one try. i knew that i had to fight that demon on my back that refused to allow me growth in my writing and in many other areas of my life as well. i wasn’t going to let it win anymore. when i saw that still standing - the amazing community for those that have suffered infertility and baby loss – was looking for contributors, i wrote the admission email to franchesca (the editor) and never looked back. i spilled my soul in that email. i spoke my truth, even the ugly parts that i’d usually omit for fear of judgment. i let it all hang loose, and then i crossed my fingers and hoped that they’d choose me, honor me with a position among their insanely talented writers.
and i got it. i am a new writer at still standing.
i think i checked my email every few minutes for hours waiting for a response. i was sure i wasn’t going to get one of the positions, but something inside me couldn’t help but to check for that inevitable “thank you for your interest, but we didn’t choose you” email. the very next day, franchesca sent me an email that i had to read several times before my mind could grasp what it was saying. it said they wanted me, tricia, to write for them. even after i screamed the news at papa, i went back at least ten times to see if i had missed something, if maybe i had misunderstood and the email really said that while they loved my writing, they’d let me know if it was definite. but the email never changed, it always said they thought i’d be a “perfect fit” at still standing. the letters didn’t somehow conspire against me when i closed the email, running around and switching places, forming words that added up to a big, fat “no” instead of a definitive “yes”.
my bio is up on the contributor page if you’d like to see it. it’s alphabetical by first name, so i’m towards the bottom. i urge you to read all the bios, because this community has some of the most talented and soulful writers i’ve ever encountered. angie yingst, beth morey, devan mcguinness, lindsey of stillborn and still breathing, jessica watson, and so many others. i am honored to be included in this group of men and women, all of us with a little one (or ones) that whispers in the wind and says hello in every rainbow. we are among the babylost and we write not only for our own sanity, but to give those that are newly suffering hope that you can survive and move on. that you can feel happiness again, and that while the pain never goes away, it evolves and morphs into a welcome partner on this road that we travel. it is our child, our lost one, that lives in that pain.
i hope you’ll start reading still standing, even if you’ve never suffered through a loss. there’s much to be learned from these incredible people.