The night began with Kelly introducing my talk, the guest speaker!
I talked for a few minutes about Thrill Seekers and what it had to do with binge drinking and what I had to do with binge drinking (a lot!) then read “Bloody Virgin”, a chapter from the book about a young woman losing her virginity.
We then broke into groups and talked about issues raised by the story and shared our own “first time” tales and what we’d do to change them and make them more as we’d hoped they’d be. (And no – not like in Fifty Shades!)
I talked a bit more about the power of rethinking or rewriting your life can have, quoting Salman Rushdie. “Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, power to retell it, to rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts.”
Rewriting the story of my adolescence into fiction has empowered me and I wanted to show the young women that they too, even if they didn’t write, could rethink and recreate their lives.
As I told them, “Shit happens. It happens to all of us. You can either roll around in it and get dirty and stinky or you can use it as fertilizer and make your life a beautiful garden.”
We then wrote love letters … to ourselves!
We sang “Brave Bold Woman”and stomped our feet in a circle holding hands. It was lots of fun – though looking at the photos I think I was enjoying it the most! The others were probably in shock. At least they’ll always remember my talk and hopefully a song to make them feel strong when they need it.
It was a great night. Kelly got her pee in jars and everyone got pampered and goodie bags!