Listen to Your Mother (and me, too)

A couple months ago, I threw caution to the wind and submitted a piece to the San Francisco Listen to Your Mother show. Then, a couple weeks later I showed up in person and read my own writing out loud. It was fairly awkward in that “do one thing that scares you” kind of a way. Those two steps in the audition process were as far as I ever expected to get.

I was proud to simply have “put myself out there” for judgement and consideration. More than anything, my little act of courage (because let’s be clear that was bravery on the part of my delicate ego) publicly marked a turning point in my life.  For the past few months, I’ve been putting myself and my work “out there” left and right. Pitching story ideas to magazines and generally looking (and in some cases) creating the kind of creative work I want to be doing.

And in response, I’ve been ignored, turned down and accepted to various degrees. The first sucks – not going to lie. The second is disappointing and the third is always a thrill and never gets old. But in the end, I’m learning that what matters most is the work itself, not who likes it or where it’s published. I’m so thankful to be learning this lesson. I say learning because I’m pretty sure it’s the kind of lesson that is meant to be repeated throughout a lifetime.

The highlight of this creative season for me is, without a doubt, being cast among 12 Bay Area writers in San Francisco’s Listen to Your Mother Show. I read the news a couple of weeks ago and literally cried tears of joy in the middle of a corporate town hall-style meeting. It was slightly out of body and thankfully I was in a huge dark room listening to a Crystal Bowersox sing live about “living your dreams” and “having only one life” and oh my god, she must have written that song for me. Are we alone in this giant room together, because it feels like she’s singing directly to me? It remains a really lovely moment and a memory I’ll treasure forever.

This past weekend, I met my fellow cast members for our first LTYM rehearsal. We were all extremely nervous to read aloud to one another and discuss the details of the May 10 show (tickets are on sale – please come) with our two amazingly generous producers, Kim and Kirsten. Over and over, we laughed and cried and cheered and hugged. It felt like a pretty sacred experience and I’m overwhelmed with the idea of joining these ladies and one gentleman on stage. I was really proud of myself for putting my work “out there” but now I’m really proud to be a part of this group.

This is my long-winded way of saying if you are anywhere near San Francisco on May 10 maybe you’d like to cheer us on as we share are stories of motherhood. We’d be honored to share the night with you.

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  • Danielle (elleinadspir)

    I am so proud and excited for you. Wish wish wish I could be there.

  • SuchSmallSteps

    That is awesome!! I'm wowed by your bravery. I will tell my best friend about the show- she is in the Bay Area and this sounds right up her alley. And I love your point about the work itself being the important thing- I could use that reminder right now.

  • Anonymous

    crying here a little……im so proud of you and extremely happy for you. i wish i could be there!! although to be perfectly honest, watching people i know and care about perform in a public way brings on a fear that is only second to doing it myself……i would be listening from under my chair……feeling overwhelmingly proud im sure.
    xxt

  • katie//salt+pine

    I so wish that I could be there to see it! I am really proud of you and not surprised *at all* that they cast you. I'm trying to have the same bravery in my life, so you are an inspiration, Estelle!

    (And expect an email message from me soon. ;) )

  • karen – Simply Inspired

    i will be there may 10th in spirit for you…
    our gifts mean so little unless they find expression and a place for sharing… you have already gifted me with you talent and generous sharing here in this place…
    thank you, kindly.
    -xok.

  • Sandra

    I wish that I was near SF on May 10th – what a great idea for a show. And congrats for being part of it. Inspiring to see others take some risk and some steps towards their dreams…

    You'll have to tell us all about it!

  • megan

    I am in tears! So proud of you on many accounts and I will be with you in spirit on the big day.

  • rooth

    Congratulations! I will not be in the neighborhood but will be cheering you from afar!

  • Mel

    I can't wait for the show! So lucky to be close enough to come cheer you on in person.

  • Jen C

    ESTELLE! I am so excited for you!. And yes, I tooootally just shouted that.

    Seriously, it was exceptionally brave of you to submit your work and to be pitching your ideas. I love seeing people out there creating the work and life that is meaningful for them. I bow to you sister.

    xo

  • Simply Mel {Reverie}

    i will be there. wouldn't miss it for anything.

  • mosey (kim)

    I just love this. We are so grateful for you!

  • Melissa J.

    amazing Stelle. will be cheering you on fom Colorado & hope to read what you wrote or see a video after the show. you've inspired me (again). xo

  • Brandi {not your average ordinary}

    If I could come back I absolutely would! This is such incredible news and I'm positively thrilled for you! You so inspire me to start putting my writing out there more too.

  • Andrea

    Congrats! My word for the year is "LEAP" and it sounds like you are doing a lot of that. Putting yourself out there. I'm rooting for you.