Some of my readers already know this.
The Knitting in the City books were based on a group of women I met in 2012 while attending an art workshop. We shared a cabin together and had *the best time*. I left the workshop feeling invigorated and brave, so when my work colleague bet me (to write my first book) I did. I always credited those women I met (in part) with inspiring me to write books. At the time, each of them struck me as so awesome. So wonderfully themselves. Such remarkable examples of women, of who I’d like to be.
Over the last 5 years we lost touch. Some of the women disappeared almost immediately (within the first year). Some of the disappearances were more gradual. The last time I spoke with any of the ladies was probably 2015. However, I’ve always thought of each of these women as remarkable, as excellent humans, as proof that female relationships can exist free of pettiness.
Fast forward to last week.
I’ve been thinking a lot about returning to the art workshop. I had an amazing time back in 2012 and would like to recapture that feeling of hope and possibility. So I looked up the workshop forum on Raverly and, in doing so, stumbled across a group using one of my covers as their banner. Initially, I was super excited, because I recognized two of the members’ avatars as belonging to two of the ladies I met in 2012 (two of the original 7 who inspired me in 2012).
So I clicked on the first post in the group and found it actually related to “Penny Reid.” It seems these two women went to the workshop in 2017 and it seems Penny Reid (or I guess, the real me) was a topic of conversation in their cabin this year (the cabin they shared with several other women I’ve never met). And I guess Penny Reid was made fun of quite a lot… or I guess I was.
At first, it made me sad for myself. Like, really, really sad. Maybe a little heartbroken.
But as I thought about it over the weekend (because I couldn’t stop thinking about it) ultimately, I felt sad for them. I’d been holding these women up on pedestals in my mind, examples of smart, strong, brave, generous, good women. Women who didn’t need to tear other people down to build themselves up.
Clearly, I was wrong. How sad for them.
That stated, I can’t bring myself to be too upset about their inauthenticity. Even if they were lying to me the whole time, they still set me on a course that has made my life better.
Their deception allowed me to meet and interact with women who actually are smart, strong, and brave; women who truly don’t need to tear other people down to build themselves up.