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Today’s spotlight is different from most. Instead of focusing on a Beit T’Shuvah community member, I use my last spotlight to convey the difference Creative Matters has made in my life and my gratitude for it.

As you may know, Creative Matters, one of BTS’s social enterprises, is a design firm. The quality of its work is exemplary, something readily apparent in the Beit T’Shuvah magazine and in its work for clients such as Homeboy Industries and the Tower Cancer Research Foundation. Although I have been only an apprentice, I take pride in the work that has been produced during my time here.1

Creative Matters is staffed by – what else? – creative people, in both design and copywriting. Happily, along with their creativity come curiosity, intelligence, and wicked senses of humor. When I arrived, I was quickly welcomed into the fold and my work taken seriously. My program-related commitments were encouraged, of course, and in the office I also found willing listeners2 ready to share their experience and knowledge with me, whether about sobriety, writing or current events. And we laughed a great deal. I found my peeps.

This is not my first time trying to get sober, nor even my first visit to BTS. It is, though, the first time that I have been sober for any significant length of time. For me, adjusting to sobriety has been in part a waiting game. Had I not had the pleasure of interning at Creative Matters, I cannot imagine that I would have had the discipline (self-discipline not being my strong suit) to stay at Beit T’Shuvah long enough to settle down and embrace sobriety. Next week I return to work on the outside, confident and with work habits reestablished. I will miss Creative Matters very much, and will always be grateful to Greg, Kali, Kendl and Wendy and to the other interns with whom I have worked for the experience I have had. I look forward to continuing friendships.

There is something that came to mind when I first decided to write this piece, not especially accurate but nicely rhyming:

Creative Matters: Mad as hatters.

Signing off, with much gratitude to the hatters.

1              I have interned as a copywriter under Senior Copywriter Greg Kestenbaum. It seemed a natural fit; much of my adult life has been spent writing. My first assignment was to write a spotlight. Imagine my surprise when Greg read it and laughed, going so far as to read it aloud so everyone might enjoy it. It was immediately apparent that I had never written anything interesting for public consumption. I started again, from scratch. Over time, Greg taught me to write in a way that someone might choose to read, this piece notwithstanding.

2              I (almost) wore this out.