On Waiting

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Tricia, On Stage

if only my feet were this pretty...

Every day I wait.

Last week I saw a beautiful green caterpillar crawling on the scorching pavement of the Oakwood parking lot. He inched along as I watched. I picked him up and took him to a patch of green grass and set him down gently– because I knew he’d take too long on his own and fry on the way, or worse. Watching and knowing what could happen to him was just too much. I was nervous about picking him up, but he looked harmless and didn’t have scary black spikes coming out of him. So I took a chance. I didn’t wait. Lucky for him, I didn’t wait. 

I am often astounded by the intensely powerful feelings I can have over something that seems so small. But no life is insignificant.

Every time I login to email I hope I’ll see something from The Moth. About my pitch. Asking me for more of my story. But so far there’s nothing. Nothing to do but wait.


I imagine months from now after exhausting but exhilarating preparation

My feet will climb steps onto a stage, somewhere, some city–it doesn’t matter where

There will be silence but a few coughs, sneezes, throats being cleared and maybe some whispering

Inside me, a storm brewing.


My insides whirling, reeling and teetering, but I’m strong.
My story, the one I yearn to tell, will come out.

I’ll hold a microphone. I will not look at the floor.

I’ll have the chance to tell my story.

Waiting has impacted me. All because of silence (mine and others’), ignorance (others’), and the silly notion of waiting for the “right” time.

There is no “right” time. The time is now. For the little things. For the big things. For the in-between things. Do it now. Don’t wait.

In the meantime, my story bucks and swells, wanting out.

It needs more than this blog. It needs my voice to give it life. It needs a breathless audience. It cannot wait.

I will stand there and talk about that day, the day my dad came out of the closet. I will talk about how it molded me into who I am today. I will talk about the ebb and flow of my anger and fierce love and loyalty. I will talk about being ripped apart and sewn together again. I will talk about the ugly things.

Because often beauty is born of ugly things. And just like the caterpillar, I need a little help reaching the grass.

Pick me.

Choose me.

Dare to hand over that mike and see what I can do.

If you don’t save me, I might burn up on the sidewalk.


read to be read at yeahwrite.me


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  • http://navigatingcyberloss.wordpress.com/ Casey B

    Knockout post, Erin!

    I look forward to reading your post about the day you got to tell ‘your story’ – because it will happen. 

    Take care, 


    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thanks, sweet Casey. I do hope you’re right! This waiting business is for the dogs.
      Arf! ;-)

  • http://guerrillamom.blogspot.com/ Guerrilla Mom

    Have you ever considered McSweeney’s?  They have a submission section called “Open letters to people or entities that are unlikely to respond.”  You should take a look at it.  I totally want to hear your story.
    The end of your audio really touched me today.  My father died 3 years ago today- we had a very difficult relationship.  I’m actually convinced he married my mother to be a nanny to his 3 small children (he was a very young widower).  Two children would result from their union, my sister and I- but I always wondered the same thing that you touched on in your audio.  If he never in fact, loved my mom- what does that mean for me?  
    I voted for you! Good luck- but always remember, you don’t have to wait.  There are millions of opportunities out there for talented people- you just have to find them!

    • http://guerrillamom.blogspot.com/ Guerrilla Mom

      BTW, I’m not implying that he didn’t love your mom!  I just realized how that sounds.  I just think we have some similarities going on…

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Guerrilla Mom,

      I guess I’m just not aware of all the potential places out there that would welcome something like this. I only submitted to the Moth b/c another blogger friend told me she thought I should pitch to them. On a whim one night, I did. Never thought they’d choose mine to go on the site…so I thought I had a chance. Then I begged for votes…and I have a significant number…but haven’t heard anything more. As each day passes, I wilt a little more.

      I am glad you found this and felt comfortable enough to comment about your own family & situation. If you want to, email me at erinmargolin (at) gmail (dot) com….I am a good listener?!

      Thanks so much for reading & weighing in. ;-)

  • Juliecgardner

    You know that I admire SO MUCH the way you’ve put yourself out there; and I completely understand the difficulty of the wait (damn, that Tom Petty was RIGHT – it is the hardest part!).

    But remember that even as you anticipate news from the Moth and other projects you’ve undertaken for the future, you are already moving forward right now. In the present.You share with Yeah Write, you link up to other blogs, you make connections and promote others; you are generous with your words, your heart, your intentions.You are already doing it. It’s happening.I wonder if the caterpillar is aware of the changes its undergoing before it emerges from the cocoon…

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Don’t do that to me…I just read your piece—Blue–A Little Something Different….and damn it I’m doing that comparison thing again. You are fucking talented and brilliant and your writing is…I don’t even have THE WORDS. That story? I bet there’s more. Lots more. And you’d better start making copies and shipping it everywhere. I’d snap it up in a heartbeat and 100 other copies for friends. Holy crap.

  • Delilah

    Erin, you took my breath away with this one. I often leave your site without commenting (go ahead, slap my hand) because I just cannot find the words to express how your writing makes me feel. It’s stunning. I hope you know how special of a writer you are and how many people you touch. I am definitely one of them. 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      No worries, I do my own fair share of lurking. Plus there’s just not time enough in the world to comment everywhere, and I’m often left speechless or that all other commenters have already said everything better than I have…thank you so much for taking the time today to comment and let me know you were here. I appreciate it more than you know!

  • Your Doctor’s Wife

    Gripping… I can’t wait to hear more of your story. Sounds incredibly compelling!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Doctor’s wife,

      Thanks so much!

  • http://www.facebook.com/hollynyny Holly Rosen Fink

    You have such an incredible story to tell and I hope you get to tell it.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      my mom suggested I just start vlogging it, but I’m honestly not sure how many would watch. lots of people don’t like vlogs. hmmmm.

  • Nancy Campbell

    I felt like this about Listen to Your Mother.

    I so wanted to be selected. I so wanted to share my story.

    I wasn’t. But truly–truly–the act of writing it, of sharing it in my own small way?

    It still felt good.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thanks, Nancy. I know you can relate. I am considering doing a vlog or three, even if no one watches them. I am sorry again about LTYM. But I loved that post and I believe in you. You’re such a talented writer. And I know I can call you to commiserate soon enough when I don’t hear from them.

  • http://lovelinkin.com Erica M

    Putting yourself out there, as Julie G said, is the hardest part and you are doing that. Thankfully, humans are more hardy than caterpillars and don’t get run over as often, though it may feel like it. That sidewalk burning beneath your feet just may be the impetus you need to move a little more quickly. I know I’ve been accused of sitting around while waiting for life to happen to me. The same cant be said for you. You’re out there doing it, Erin. If it’s not The Moth, it’s something else. You’re on your way just by trying to get there.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thank you, Erica….honestly? I do feel like I sit around a lot waiting for life to happen to me…so maybe I will make a vlog and just see how that goes over. Although as I said to another commenter, I don’t think a lot of people like vlogs….but I’m good at keeping them short.

  • jccbookclub

    This line struck me, wrapped itself around me and made me smile and tear at the same moment: 
    Because often beauty is born of ugly things. And just like the caterpillar, I need a little help reaching the grass.

    Waiting sucks. And knowing that sometimes, those hundreds of people clicking on a button, can’t be brilliant and dumb. Sometimes, while we wait, we can start creating other beautiful, meaningful moments. So, no matter what, the experience was worth it. Look how many of us already want to listen to what you have to say. 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Shosh, you smoke blower, you.

      you’re right. need to start creating other things. time to move on. to what?

  • http://reticentwriter.wordpress.com/ Elizabeth

    “I’ll hold a microphone. I will not look at the floor.”
    I love that line.  I hope you get to tell your story and when you do, the audience will be breathless.  You have a strong voice.  Best of luck to you.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I will. Even if it means I’m just vlogging it from home to a virtual audience who may not even watch…

  • http://mamawantsthis.com/ Alison@Mama Wants This

    I hope someone picks you up because you deserve it. Your story needs to be heard. Luck, love, and light to you, Erin.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thanks, Alison. I needed that. My husband is not so thrilled about this. He considers it my holding onto my past and dwelling on it, etc. etc…

  • Sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms

    Good luck, Erin. I think you are right. This story needs to be heard and you need to tell it. The Other Erin

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      The Other Erin,

      Thank you very much. ;-)

  • http://www.mayorgia.blogspot.com/ Mayor Gia

    Waiting is no fun! Hoping you get picked.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thanks, Mayor Gia! ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/TheMommyMess Adrienne

    I really liked this post. I tried to comment yesterday, but for some reason I couldn’t. I love beacuse 1. I recently saved a life. you’re right. No life is insignificant! PETA would be so proud of us. :)
    and 2. for the underlying lesson/reminder you got from that little caterpillar. The time is now, sweet girl! I wish I could be there to hear your speech! They better pick you!

  • Ally

    The real win in this is that you’ve made the decision that your story needs to be shared. You said it – your story wants out. So whether it’s the Moth, a book, or whatever outlet it may be, it’s time to tell it!

  • Kir

    Erin, there is NO DOUBT in my mind and heart that you will share that story, that your voice and words will be heard. BELIEVE IT, I do. xoxox

  • http://heidicave.com/ Heidi

    You write this so well – how the story must come out, the invisible storm, the waiting. Beautiful, Erin.
    The story will come out. It has to.
    (I feel terrible that this is the first time I’ve read your blog. I follow you on Twitter and I can’t believe this is the first time…all thanks to yeahwrite.:) I’m so glad to be here and read your writing.)

  • http://newdaynewlesson.com/ Susie @ Newdaynewlesson

    When the time is right, your story will come out.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thanks so much, Susie.

  • http://www.happinesscubed.net/ Dawn

    “Because often beauty is born of ugly things. And just like the caterpillar, I need a little help reaching the grass.”This.This x a million.Your time will come, I am very sure of it. :-)

  • http://dudeofthehouse.blogspot.com/ Jay – Dude of the House

    I guess we are all really caterpillars, searching for guidance in one way or another. 
    Interesting links, I’m looking forward to checking out more of your work, Erin. 

  • http://www.grandnewmom.com/ Kenja Purkey

    Great post! I totally identified with you feeling for the caterpillar. I once moved a dung beetle off a bike path because it had this huge ball of well, dung it was moving. It had worked so hard, toiling over a bunch of shi–er, dung. And it was gonna be run over. Smashed. So I moved it.  I totally used a stick though. Ewwww.

    At least you get to be a caterpillar. I guess that makes me a dung beetle. In any case, we’re all underdogs waiting for someone to throw us a rope.

  • Shiftless Mommie

    Wonderful post. I felt so much anticipation and potential energy (I know, it’s a nerdy phrase, but that’s what I’ve got.)

  • http://twitter.com/ashleytaylor76 The Dose of Reality

    I just wish that you could know how very much your story should be heard and truly believe that it will be. Because it is too powerful not to be. Your time is coming. 

  • Cynthia Reed

    Oh Erin, sweetie! The Moth holds neither your Voice nor your Story. Start telling it loudly now – podcast it and put it on your blog, tell friends, go to an open mike, do a one woman show. The world needs your voice as you change it, one story at a time. xoxoxo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You’re so smart. I’ve already started thinking about other avenues. I appreciate your kind comments more than you know!

  • http://twitter.com/WriteRinseBlog Write, Rinse, Repeat

    Such an inspiring and beautifully written post. Oh, how I also know that feeling of wanting to shout a story from the rooftops!  I really enjoyed this. 

  • http://www.fromtracie.com From Tracie

    Selfishly, I hope that city is near me…because I would love to be there and see you share your heart in person. 

    This is beautiful. The waiting is hard, and you captured it so well. You are ready – and I know when you get up and speak your story into the room, power will come with it. 

  • http://www.authenticexperience.org/ nikkiana

    I’ve been toying with the idea of submitting a pitch to The Moth, but the idea of getting on stage to tell my story scares the crap out of me…  There are some things I can do on stage with great comfort, but that’s not one of them!

    Even if you don’t end up getting picked (I went and voted for you), I’d be interested in hearing more about this story. It was very intriguing. 

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    I had a great comment and then I got sidetracked by my daughter.She’ll be 8 next month and is now in love with the shoes in that picture above.

    Great googly moogly, what is it with women and shoes.

    Anyhoo, from where I sit it looks like you are on the move and heading towards some very cool things. Don’t let the mishegoss slow you down, keep moving and you will get there.

  • http://twitter.com/GalitBreen Galit Breen

    I love your raw honesty, Erin. I always have.

    What I hold onto here, is hope. That’s what we all need a bit more of to get us through, isn’t it?

    Fingers crossed for you as you wait and put yourself out there! (Impressive, inspiring.)

  • http://terrisonoda.net/ Terri Sonoda

    I’ve watched you grow stronger over the last couple years, by leaps and bounds.  I think you will be able to tell your story any time. You already do it with your writing. I’m in awe of your power.

  • http://twitter.com/Dalrie Carebear

    Getting up on stage is so nerve wracking and I admire that you are willing and eager to do that. I think that waiting is the worst part of being a writer, wondering if people thought you were good enough. Right now Im waiting on a literary writing contest and although I highly doubt I won, it would be nice to know lol.I hope you get good news!! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1027655659 Joseph Cereola

    Don’t wait. “Time is a thief.”

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You are so right. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/werdyab Amanda Hohenbery

    Wow.  Beautifully written!  I guess we are all just caterpillars waiting on something.  Our thing.  P.S. I tried to listen to your story and I couldn’t find it!  Operator error, I’m sure.  Could you send me the link?  I’d love to listen and vote! amanda@werdyab.com 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thanks so much! First, go to the Moth site under Tel A Story, then the Listen & Vote section, which is here:


      My pitch is the 4th on the list. Look for “Erin M.” posted on 4/26/12, entitled “The Man in the Tight Corduroy Shorts.” It’s a 60-second pitch and if you’d like to vote you just click on the stars. Please let me know if it doesn’t work, but it should be?

      Thank you so much. Your comments mean a lot to me!

  • Michelle Longo

    “If you don’t save me, I might burn up on the sidewalk.”  What a line!  Excellent post.  I hope you get to tell your story.  I suspect that you will, and you will tell it well, however you can.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thanks so much. I hope you’re right…but the doubts are creeping in.

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com Elaine A.

    I’m just so very proud of you for taking the leap and putting yourself out there, my friend. I know the waiting is hard but I believe in you so much.  xo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

       I love you, and am so glad we’re rooming together at BlogHer. I need me some Elaine time…xoxoxo

  • http://www.living-authentically.com Bill-The Authentic Life

    You are telling your story and it is reaching people.  Keep going and hopefully one day, we won’t hear of parents needing to come out to their children, because they will have never been in.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I hope you’re right. Sometimes I feel like this is all futile and my husband accuses me of hanging on too tightly to the past. But it’s my story–it’s my life and what happened to our family. How could it not leave a mark? I am debating doing a vlog– a video blog. But most people don’t watch them. But it might be something, a start.

  • http://twitter.com/universalgrit Denise Ullem

    I am routing for you. I selfishly hope that your Moth debut happens in NYC so I can be one of the sniffles, one of the sets of clapping hands, one of the large inhales as your powerful story pours out into the night. 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You are a sweetheart and hearing that makes me want to weep. But I’ve kind of lost hope. The only reason I have so many votes is because I have a lot of friends on the internet. I think if it was going to work out I’d have heard from them by now. Sigh.

  • http://www.outlawmama.com/ Christie O Tate

    Very cool!! I don’t know what MOTH is but it sounds like it could be worth the wait. I will be at BLOGHER so maybe I will get a chance to see the story unfold.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      The Moth is a site all about storytelling. It’s a non-profit organization that gives people a platform to tell their stories. They put on live performances in several cities. Do you know @GDRPempress:twitter ? Her pitch won and she got to tell her story on stage in front of a live audience…and met Molly Ringwald who was also part of the show. You should check out the site and listen to some of the stories…pretty cool! http://www.themoth.org

  • http://profiles.google.com/mommynanibooboo Jenni Chiu

    I know the sun is so hot on the sidewalk!
    I love the Moth.  I voted for your story.  If it doesn’t happen I shall build you a box to stand on and give you a megaphone…

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you so much for voting….I have pretty much lost my confidence about this. I really thought my story would be intriguing. But I think I’d have heard from them by now. So about that box…

  • Lovethatmax

    I hope you make it to The Moth only because you so want to BUT, Erin, I agree with Cynthia: You already have a perfectly amazing venue for telling your story, and it is right here. You might think you need Moth, but many flies already flock to the light of this blog. xo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You are lovely to say so. I am considering a vlog as I’m not techno-savvy enough to make a video like you did about Max. But not many people like to watch vlogs. I already did a practice segment today and kept it to about 90 seconds. I know length is key to keep people’s attention, but I just don’t know…

  • Shannon Vander Meulen

    That last line is absolutely perfect. 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      Thanks, Shannon!

  • http://twitter.com/mannahattamamma MannahattaMamma

    Sometimes I think it was easier to wait when we just had regular mail, no electronics. Then it was just once a day: envelope? yes, no? and that was that. Now, it’s every five minutes is there a message, is there one now, or now, or NOW?  Good luck. 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      So true. We’ve gotten sucked into social media, electronics and instant gratification. Nothing will ever be enough anymore. Faster faster faster, everything is faster.

  • http://twitter.com/mommyhoodnxtrt Jessica F. Hinton

    This and your courage to do something with your story is amazing. I’m sure it will be picked up and that you will soon have the chance to give voice to all the stories, memories, and truths living in your head. I’m rooting for you! xo. 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thanks for the vote of confidence! It’s comments like yours that are keeping me grounded right now…

  • http://www.lateenough.com/ Alex@LateEnough

    Oh I understand that checking your email or phone every day to see if you got “it” — even if The Moth is foolish enough to not choose you, we must find you a venue to share your story. Because it demands it.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You are very sweet. But I’m beginning to think that my story is neither that interesting nor that special. It just so happens that I have a lot of internet friends who were kind enough to vote for me. I’m debating vlogging on my own blog, but I know lots of people don’t watch them. I dunno anymore…

  • FadraN

    I know how powerful your voice it because I think you could type the word “the” and still have a myriad of comments. Everything happens for a reason. It’s cliche but man, it’s true. We don’t always see it in the moment but it’s true.

    I love that you help the caterpillars. I do the same thing for the worms.