I found the blog called Momastery as I find most things of note these days, on a friend’s Facebook wall. The author, whom I would later come to know as Glennon Doyle, laid bare her soul in a way I wasn’t used to seeing in the mom blog world. She talked about the dark thoughts trying to convince her that her kids would be better off without her. She talked about not feeling like the other moms she knew whose kids danced around in hand-knitted sweaters at their Pinterest-perfect birthday parties, and the moms who seemed to revel in every moment of motherhood. She confessed things about being a mom that I had thought but never been brave enough to admit, and she wrote like she was talking directly to me. I was sitting in the ER with my mom that day, and I found myself reading Glennon’s words through tear-streaked eyes in a waiting room full of strangers.
Like a best friend I’ve never met, Glennon has brought me to the same place of vulnerability and release many times since I first imagined her holed up in her closet writing under the glow of a single light bulb seven years ago.
So when I found out last year Glennon was coming to Portland with Together Live, I snatched up a pair of tickets (I probably would have camped out for them if I had to, but all I had to do was enter my credit card information). I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to occupy the same physical space as Glennon, and I wanted to share the joy with a friend.
Something about Glennon makes me feel seen and heard, even though we have never met. I’m obviously not the only person she has this effect on, since a throng of excitable women awaited Casey and me when we arrived at the Keller Auditorium.
When your pretend BFF invites a group of women who inspire her, you know you’re in for a treat. The stage was set up like a living room, and Glennon and the other women acted like a group of girlfriends at happy hour, giggling, hugging, and squealing at the sheer joy of being together in that moment. The respect and mutual admiration in the room was palpable.
I cried when Valarie Kaur suggested that the violence and confusion of current events might just be the contractions leading to the birth of a new world. Abby Wambach (now Glennon’s wife) spoke about remembering her own worth after the shame and embarrassment of a DUI. Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Geena Rocero, and Seane Corn shared their struggles and triumphs, and even though I have read most of what Glennon has published, including both of her memoirs, Love Warrior and Carry on, Warrior, I garnered new insight about her life, and my own.
The main thing I took away from Together Live was that there is no need to ever feel alone. Three thousand other people who live where I live were gathered together in that room, and we are better when we’re together. Together we can change the world.
Glennon is coming back to Portland again on September 18th, and you have a chance to get together with her. Follow this link and use the code “TGTHR” to get $5-$10 off tickets to Together Live (discount depends on selected seats)! I’ll see you there!