Let the Light In

My latest academic piece is a chapter in an edited book on women in academia.  It’s incredibly personal and was very difficult to write.

The struggle I had with writing this piece differed from my normal struggles because it brought me back to a series of  intense times that started in my late adolescence, with the loss of my mother, and continued through my early career, with the adoption and health concerns of my older children. These are events that I generally try to forget, even though they shaped (and continue to shape) my career and my life in important ways. They remind me of very dark days, days which often made me want to disappear.

When I first saw the editors’ comments on my piece, I was deeply conflicted.  Their comments were spot on and will be helpful in revision, but they mean that I have to reopen the piece, and work on it again.  Each time I think about revision, I think of each individual incident in the manuscript, and I feel a deep pang of pain, regret or resistance.  It is not a simple revision.

But, I was inspired this weekend by the vulnerability and honesty of a dear friend, in her blog and in her testimony at church.  It made me realize that though this piece is hard, it is important, perhaps the most important piece I’ve written, at least for myself.

I am walking away from the darkness of silence and towards the light of honesty.  And by moving toward that light, I hope that some of it will come into the dark places that still occasionally haunt me.

One thought on “Let the Light In

  1. Yes, what we say out loud is for anyone listening, not just us. You have the potential to inspire thousands with your words. Dive in!

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