I learned one of my most important life lessons when I was 12 and attended Girls’ Camp for the first time. Every camp is different and has varying degrees of roughness -we slept in tents with cots on wood pallets. Very out-doorsy but we didn’t sleep on the ground. I don’t have to try very hard and I can smell the musty green tent, but oh, how I loved waking up and hearing the birds chatter. The New England morning air had a crisp coolness in it, even in August, and I’d cling to my sleeping bag until the second wake up bell. I could go on, but I think I was trying to make another point. A life lesson.
That first year, I was assigned to a tent with a girl I’d never met, but soon learned was a little eccentric and not at all popular. And there were popular girls at camp. Silly, I know. After the first night, one of ‘them’ asked me what it was like to bunk with ‘her.’ I was 12 and hadn’t learned yet what I was about to learn. I opened my big mouth and described all her strange habits. It didn’t even take two hours before we were sitting at breakfast and fake-friendly popular girl number one started talking to my tent mate. I listened in horror as popular girl 2 and 3 chimed in to the conversation –or whatever you would have called it. They teased and taunted her with the ammo, uh –info, I’d provided. Dumb!
I couldn’t eat. I was sick. My tent mate shrugged it off. I was stunned for days. I wrote in my journal, “Never talk to so-and-so again!” That was a little extreme. I was too young to have the words of the hymn come to mind, “Nay, Speak No Ill.” But I did learn, even if I couldn’t articulate it then, sharing is powerful and it’s one of the ways girls bond and it can be used for good. Or not.
And my point today? What is a blog but sharing – a lot? Let’s face it, there is a lot of blogging and writing and sharing going on in the blogosphere. It is one of the reasons I am glad to be here – on MMW – sharing my thoughts about writing. It enhances my creativity and if I give support – it comes back to me. That is my point in a nutshell. To say it like you’ve heard it before, ‘what goes around comes around.’
I’m guessing if you are a writer you already know this: Words can be powerful and they have a way of coming back to you. So. If you meet any popular girls wanting to dish – do what I wish I’d done –keep your mouth shut and hand over your dirty mess kit. And whatever else you get to do today – send good words out into the world.