“I would love to tell you about my experience in The Power of One. I’m sure it would be brilliantly funny. It might make you cry. It might inspire you to go out and do something. I would love to tell you how excited I am about the show and how stoked I am about how my fundraising is going. I would love to tell you I’m a veritable fountain of words and creativity.
I would love to, but I can’t. Jennifer L Clifford might be able to, but today I am just Jenn. Jennifer L Clifford is ready for battle. Jennifer L Clifford is calm and collected. Jennifer L Clifford is a clever girl.
Jenn is a mess.
You see, when we started this program, I envisioned the stage and the people, the stars I’ve reached for since I was five years old singing along to Reba McEntire cassettes in my underwear. Even then I sold tickets to my shows. Before inflation, you could see the spectacle for a quarter. Now that I’m staring down the barrel of a price tag akin to my yearly salary, I have to consider that dreams are a privilege not afforded to me. Will it stop me from trying? Hell no! I’m more stubborn than all that. Ask my husband.
So when we started there was a destination. I knew this program would be a journey. What I didn’t know was that it would be a journey through some of the most seedy, dark alley, bars on the windows parts of myself. What I didn’t know was that the shadow self I had embraced years ago was a girl scout compared to what lurks in corners I didn’t know I had. What I didn’t know was the trauma of self discovery, the total destruction of what and who I thought I was and signed up for this program to show the world, and the act of accepting what is.
And in that self discovery…Jennifer L Clifford checked out while Jenn cleans up the shards of pride and false confidence that litter the streets.
I would love to tell you about my experience in The Power of One, but I can’t. I can’t because there are no words on this sterile screen that could do it any justice.
The poet is speechless. The chrysalis has begun.
We can’t wait to show you what emerges.”
I wrote this about halfway through my journey to Good Girl, and it was a feeling that persisted until the moment I stepped on that stage, with its hat rack adorned with ropes and floggers, in a corset and high heels. An audible gasp emanated from the audience, and I was immediately grounded. This is where I belonged. This was my moment in the universe. This was my superpower. It didn’t matter that my family was missing it because they were late and I was too embarrassed to ask anyone to either stall or let them in when they got there. It didn’t matter that I had been so frazzled during dress rehearsal that I’d forgotten to put on my shoes and still wasn’t sure I’d learned to convincingly fake an orgasm in front of a sold out theater. It didn’t matter that I was about to expose every monster I’d forced under my bed and let them rip me apart in front of an audience. Oh, then we’re going to tape it while you do it again. It was a big step towards claiming my place, not in the world, but within myself.
But change like this is not finite; it’s a catalyst for more significant transformation, and the next step has presented itself. The video is public, and it feels like time to share it.
So here it is, Good Girl in all its glory!
Take a look. This is just the beginning.