Elyse Arring Finds Respite and Support at a Personal Retreat with Scholarship Help

Feb 27, 2024 | LGBTQIA+ Voices, Scholarship Stories

Photo of Elyse ArringAt our first 2024 #HFGather, we asked Elyse Arring to share her experience with her Personal Retreat scholarship. You can see the full recording of her comments here (start at timestamp 45:03) but we’re sharing some of them here. Thank you, Elyse!

Elyse wanted and needed some time for herself: “I applied for a Personal Retreat scholarship because I’ve been caregiver and stay-at-home mom and work-at-home Mom for 18 and 1/2 years and I’ve got two special needs kids. They’re now 16 and 18, and so they take a lot of my time and energy. And I have a spouse who works at home as well. And some neurotic pets who always need attention. And so just managing all those doesn’t always leave me a lot of time.”

This was Elyse’s second Personal Retreat. She had taken Craft, Community, and Your Career, where she met some other writers; after the course they all decided to do Personal Retreats at the same time.  “We descended on campus at the same time, and so it was very much kind of a group, and everybody was able to do whatever they needed to do. By the end of that, three other writers and I  formed a writing group. We lived in four different states, but they’ve become three of my closest friends over the last few years and we stay in touch daily. We support each other in life and not just in random. Everyone I’ve ever met at Highlights has been kind and fascinating. So that first personal retreat there were a lot of people around.”

Her scholarship Personal Retreat “was an extremely different experience…I had a little bit of an agenda and I did get some things written that I had been resisting …and so that was really useful too.”

The point is, Elyse said, is that “the point of the Personal Retreat is for you to get what you need from it….maybe you need to go and just be quiet by yourself. Maybe you need to go spend time at the river and. go for a hike. Maybe you need to meet a deadline or you’ve got all these ideas jammed up and you just need time to let them out.”

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