Day 1: Brittany
I owe Brittany a lot of credit for this blog. Not only was she the first person I met as a part of this project she was also the first person I told about the idea. We had our conversation at TEDxRVA set to the backdrop of the Free Ice Water project. It's an art project where you have a distraction free conversation over a set period of time, share some water in a mason jar and then fill the glass with a token of your conversation. This is what really helped to push me into this idea. Brittany was working the event and was nice enough to indulge me. She sat down at the tiny table across from me, took off her glasses and we started to talk.
I told her about how I became a writer and a musician. She told me about the day she learned not to rely on anyone. After her mother and father split up and her father neglected to pay the rent they were told they had a few days to move. Not enough time for everything. She was only nine years old when it all happened. Her mother told her to grab just one thing from her room to take with her. "How do you pick just one thing?" she said. I didn't have a good answer. A few days later when she got off of the bus after school holding her sisters hand, she saw the dumpster on the corner brimming with everything from their, now old, house. "I know it was really a dumpster but to me, I mean it was basically a box. It's really something to see basically your whole life in a box." That sight, she told me, was when she knew not to depend on anyone.
"My mother was really doing the best she could. I don't hold anything against her at all but because she needed someone else that's what got her, got us into that situation." Hearing her say that was something. She poked at her glasses on the table after she said that. She was quick to clarify, though, that it wasn't that she wouldn't trust other people, it was just that she now refused to rely on other people. Before we left I told her about this blog, this project. She told me to go with it so here we are. Maybe next year, just like some of the presenters and their collaborators, she'll get pulled on stage with me when I am giving my TED talk about the success of this project. I can only hope and dream and I guess meet a few more fantastic people.