Special Announcement: For those of you in the Boston area, or attending the AWP Conference, come to the (free) Burlesque Press AWP Kick-Off Reading onWednesday, March 6th at 8pm at Crossroads Pub (495 Beacon Street, near the conference hotel). I will be reading, along with some other excellent Burlesque Press contributors.
Since I am driving to Boston tomorrow for the AWP Conference (Association of Writers and Writing Programs), I thought it would be a good time to tell you all about a recent strange coincidence that can be seen as proof that
a) the universe is sending me a sign via AWP
b) AWP approves of my life decisions
c) AWP is stalking me.
Let me explain…
Last spring, when I was making the decision to quit my full-time teaching job in DC and move to Cape Cod for a year to focus on writing, I touted the fact that AWP 2013 was being held in Boston as a sign that this was the right thing for me to do. Of course, I knew AWP being in Boston was just a coincidence, but I chose to see it as a sign, which gave me the extra boost of confidence to make the big move.
“What will you do after the year is up?” everyone asked me.
“I’m not going to worry about that right now,” I said. “I’m just going to focus on writing.”
I wouldn’t even think about the future until after the AWP conference. In late March I would start applying for jobs and deciding where to move next. I also thought I’d take a trip to the west coast this spring and “city shop” – I’d heard good things about Seattle and Portland. But I didn’t know if I’d really have the gumption to move all the way across the country for no good reason.
“After the AWP conference, my future is blank,” I told people. “But I’ll worry about it when I get there.”
As those who follow my blog know, I moved to the Cape this past July. In October I became penpals with a man who lives in the DC area. In November we met in person. (First in DC, and then, a few weeks later, he came to visit me on the Cape.) In December I started calling Paul my boyfriend. Since then we’ve been seeing each other on weekends as much as possible, and we think, for some reason, I had to move away from DC in order for us to connect.
In January, Paul was offered an interesting post-doc fellowship. The fellowship requires him to work for one year in Seattle then one year in Minneapolis. After that, he will have to apply for a more permanent position somewhere, and he will most likely end up back in the DC area.
So in January Paul was trying to decide whether or not to accept this fellowship – he was leaning towards yes. And I was trying to decide whether or not to go with him if he accepted the position – I was leaning towards yes.
I needed a place to move to – and a reason to move there. Hadn’t I been wanting to live on the west coast anyway? Plus, I really liked Paul. But I also knew it was a little insane to move across the country with a person who I had kissed for the first time less than two short months ago.
One day, I was on the AWP website, figuring something out about the upcoming Boston conference. That’s when I happened to see the list of future conferences.
Guess where the conference is next year…
Guess where the conference is the year after that…
Guess where the conference is two years after that…
I pasted the list into an email and sent it to Paul with the subject line “a strange but exciting coincidence.”
He called me back twenty minutes later. “Do you believe in signs?” he asked.
Of course, my logical answer is no. We humans sometimes chose to interpret coincidences as signs, but are they really?
“It certainly feels like a sign,” I said.
In the end, whether the universe is giving me a sign, or whether I’m just interpreting it that way, it doesn’t really matter. I was probably going to move with Paul anyway, but AWP gave me the extra boost of confidence that this is the right decision.
Paul accepted the fellowship, and we’ll be moving to Seattle this summer. See you at AWP.
AWP Future Conferences
- February 26 – March 1, 2014 | Washington State Convention Center & Sheraton Seattle Hotel
- April 8 – 11, 2015 | Minneapolis Convention Center & Hilton Minneapolis Hotel
Los Angeles, California
- March 30 – April 2, 2016 | Los Angeles Convention Center & JW Marriott Los Angeles
Washington, DC | 50th Anniversary
- February 8 – 11, 2017 | Washington Convention Center & Washington Marriott Marquis