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So, I’m going to start with the metaphor 🙂

Back in April I moved into my parents’ apartment in Austin. It needed a lot of work; my parents lived here 30 years, and they didn’t do any remodeling before they moved in. A lot of the electrical is from the early 60s when the building was built. And over the past 10 years or so, they were both in not great shape, so a lot of things just fell into disuse and disrepair. End result: lots of work to do. About half of my home now looks like this:

room with torn up carpet and pieces of wood and plaster all over

personal photo

And here’s the metaphor: a big part of my life looks like that too, metaphorically. But what I have learned from the process of working on the apartment: sometimes this is the only way that the needed change can happen. Sometimes things just have to get torn up. Torn out. Thrown away. The fabulous carpenter, the great painter, the wonderful electrician: they know what they are doing, and they know this is what happens. Torn up. Torn out. Thrown away.

Of course, the difference is that I don’t think the drywall and the carpet and the wiring feel badly about this. Whereas I have felt pretty bad about the unexpected remodeling of my life, in addition to the apartment remodeling, and that’s where MYFest gratitude comes in.

Back in April, on literally the same day that my husband told me he wanted a divorce, Mia called me and invited me to help work on the curation aspects of MYFest, maybe creating a Pressbook (I love Pressbooks!), or who knows what — all very emergent, very open-ended, like all of MYFest. I wasn’t sure if I was going to tell Mia about what was going on in my life, but since I burst into tears as soon as we started talking, well, of course I had to tell her. And Mia was just amazing, so kind, so supportive; she was the first person I told, and I will be grateful to her forever for helping me through that evening.

And then… MYFest! Because of course I said yes, so glad that I could have something beautiful and new and different going on in my falling-apart life. I got here on April 21, with lots of fun and exciting MYFest things-to-do right away, along with all the other un-fun and even scary things I had to do as a result of moving into a new place unexpectedly.

And then MYFest itself started, with events already in May, which seems like a lifetime ago for me. (And in a sense it was a lifetime ago: this really is a different time in my life now, and it happens to have started with MYFest.)

This post is already long, so I’m not going to try to list all the fabulous things that happened day by day with MYFest. That’s what my little MYFest Padlet is for. I can scroll on back through all those posts, remembering the lovely people and the deep discoveries and ALL THE FUN……..!

So, that’s how it happened: how I had a totally fun summer in the midst of torn up, torn out, thrown away.

These two words are small, but the meaning is very big. To everybody who made MYFest happen: THANK YOU.