Most of my days are spent walking around in a fog, but sometimes I have these deep breadths of clarity. I had one the other night. Well, the other day, really. I was working. It was a Saturday. I had been at work for a couple hours past my quitting time when my poet friend called and reminded me of a workshop that I wanted to attend. I’m not a hug fan of workshops. Well, really, I’m divided on it. I like workshops, but I hate them at the same time because they make me uncomfortable. I love to hear what other people have to say, and I love to hear other people’s works, but I hate sharing my own. It’s a peculiar dynamic really. So I went to this small workshop and it was really just a series of writing exercises, which I am love with. I think every writing class I ever took in college became my favorite as soon as the writing exercises started. I even have a couple books at home that have exercises in them, but it’s not quite the same. Anyhow, I went to the workshop. It was only my poet friend, myself, another girl and the leader of the whole shebang, who was a nationally known poet and author from North Carolina. He talked a bit and there was some Q&A, and then the workshopping started. He would give a prompt, and then we would have ten or fifteen minutes to put our thoughts on paper or in my case on computer. The time went by way too fast and when it came time to share, as always, my inner demons crept up on my shoulder to remind me how awful of a writer I was and how if I were a better writer, maybe I would have half of the successes of this poet four years my junior, but still, I read my “assignment” out loud to the group, because I’m good in small company. It’s the large groups that make my palms sweat and my armpits stink. After the workshop, we were talking about the open mic/ poetry slam that was the finale of the festival that had taken place over the weekend. My poet friend was the master of ceremonies for the event and I told him I would come. I was really just going because I love watching the slams. I have this idea in my mind that one day, I will be featured on some cable special on a stage reciting some earth shattering truth that I came up with all by my lonesome to thousands of people who will stand up and cheer my name while wearing the “i want your words in my mouth” shirt that I have copy written. So when my poet friend asked me if I was going to perform at the open mic, even though I was ill prepared, there was something in me that just could not say no. So amidst the crowd, which may have been the largest I have ever stood up in front of even remotely sober, I got up on stage and recited my (favorite so far) Ten O’clock Men. I couldn’t recite it from memory because I was way too nervous, but there was such clarity in that moment as I scanned the crowd looking for at least one familiar face in it that I never found. There was a sense of belonging. There was a feeling of peace that came over me despite the fact that I was ridiculously nervous to stand up in front of the “professional writers and poets” that littered the back of the room waiting for the “real show” to start. And when I finished, for the first time, I could hear the applause. It’s usually just a blur lost in the bundle of nerves that overcomes me at the mere idea of speaking in front of group of strangers, but that day, it was like water covering my face at a baptism. And I knew, more than ever before, that the life I have carved out for myself, is not the life that is going to satisfy my existence.