Hearing about this circle, I first assumed it would be boring and no interest to me. Figuring it would be nothing but older women talking of marriage mistakes and how alcohol has affected their way, and now finding ways to stay away from negative things in life. I didn’t feel there was anything in it for me. After constant reminders from my mother, I decided to go…probably to get my mother off my back. Realizing we had to give our opinion on different questions, I was somewhat skeptical of people I didn’t know and never met, judging me and what I said, but I talked, vaguely. Surprisingly, no one laughed, frowned or asked why I feel the way I do, they just listened and nodded. And so it went around the table as each woman told her opinion on the topic. It wasn’t about marriage, alcohol or “don’t do this” and “don’t do that.” While talking I realized the age difference between us all. Yet, everybody understood one another’s story…young, old and in between. And the next topic, it continued. What really surprised me, was an older woman explained a problem she had…I was going through the same thing. And she felt exactly the way I did about the situation. I was so shocked, I barely met her, but we already had so much in common. I couldn’t believe much older women deal with problems just as young women, even now. By the looks of the women there, I would’ve never guessed they had as much drama as me, kind of encouraging in a way. Now, this circle has become a stress reliever to me. When I go back home, school or work, I feel so much better knowing other women are dealing with the same things and hurt and feel the same way I do. Different problems I’vehad, I’ve learned better and different ways to handle them. When I come across different confrontations or misunderstandings whether at school, work, family or friends, I am able to speak up and with more confidence, because I know there’s truth and strength behind what I say. Our motto for the circle is “Life is best when learned backwards,” because if we knew then, what we know now, we would’ve never done that. I feel at this circle, I’m learning now, what I need to know for the future. I appreciate this circle for opening my mind to other options and for not judging me on my experiences or opinions or feelings. This has also allowed me to be more honest to myself and other people. I know that what I say at circle stays at that circle. I like when I speak about a personal problem I don’t need to give every little detail or say names, if I don’t want to. My business is my business, but I still get feedback on them. I haven’t missed a Talking Circle since.