Hi dear, it’s been awhile.
It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve been doing other things, caring for a kid with a broken brain, getting used to complex conversations with teenagers, nursing my own physically broken heart, and writing a book. My first. My baby. My beloved trial-by-fire. And these kinds of momentum-building creations don’t come easily or fall from trees. Turns out, this is a daily work, a resistance battle, a process of toil and gather in the hopes of the overall good – this is stewardship.
I’m about to have a birthday in two days, so I’m feeling pretty good about myself in this moment. But Let’s just say, for old times sake, I don’t belong here. Let’s say I am not worthy, in the Wayne’s World sense. Let’s say I am not enough of a student of art or life or literature to be sitting here for my full time job crafting words, or avoiding stitching them together by distracting myself until my deepest devotion kicks back in.
My nemesis subconscious, whom I refer to as “Fat Baby”, snarls and sprays his spit all over me. He’s pooped his diaper again and he’s been acting out, slinging it all over my white undershirt that I slept in the past four nights in a row. Laundry day, I guess. Fat baby hates me, hates everything I have ever made, can’t wait to see me crumble under the weight of my inadequacies as a writer and human.
My sons have “take your kid to work day” at school today. The middle one comes home yesterday and sits down beside me and asks, “So can I stay home and do nothing, since it’s take your kid to work day? ‘Cause all you ever do is stay home and do nothing.” You dear little asshole. Who’s raising these kids anyways?
Let’s say Fat Baby and insensitive son are right: I have nothing and I do nothing. Say everything I’ve worked towards and prayed for and dreamed of and strived towards with heart-sewed-to-sleeve rawness were silly at best, delusions of grandeur at worst, signs of an unstable person living out fantasies. For argument’s sake, let’s say I have lived in the caves of my shadow side, taken time from my children, stolen money from my own husband’s pockets, pushed others away and isolated myself and acted out on deadly sins until I am thoroughly spoilt.
Let’s say I don’t have pure motives. Let’s say I want money and fame more than I want patience and gentleness. Let’s say I have dreamed about meeting a celebrity or being recognized in the airport. Let’s say I’ve gone so far down a hypothetical rabbit hole that I’ve worried about my future hypothetical stalkers. Let’s say I’ve even begun to find an answer for them, something to the effect of, “I won’t make a good friend for you because we don’t do life together. Even the friends I do have still feel disappointed by me often, even in close proximity. So go find someone who you can do life with, who you can disappoint and be disappointed by in person, and that person will slowly fill the hole you hope I would plug up.” Why yes, yes I am this hideous in my innermost parts.
I have opened email and Instagram more times than I could count or would wish to know, in the last couple of weeks. I have been waiting for something. I’ve been waiting for that “Yes!” and that number to climb and that breaking of my own glass ceiling or the one I feel others have put on me, my story, my honesty. I have been waiting for the moment of being discovered and that big “aha” has not happened yet. I have to be logical and realistic and I know it may not happen. It may never happen.
Some people live their whole lives with a dream to fly to Paris and then they can only ever get up the courage to drive to Galveston, Texas. Bless their hearts.
If that’s you, if that’s me, there’s still hope. There’s still an ocean waiting at the seam of the land for us, if we are humble enough to put our feet in we can feel it heal us from the toenails up.
This I do know: I believe in what I am living, what I have experienced, what I’ve sponged up from my own living story, what I have put on paper and have to offer still. I believe there is a place in my words where there is only love and goodness, only light and the Divine Mystery. I believe there are hearts and hands opening and salivating for some of these stories and the lessons they are meant to teach.
I believe there is someone out there right now who is strong and rich in integrity and creativity and wisdom and is meant to see my pages and say “YES” and grab my hand with resolution and walk me into the offices and the rooms where I can be fully seen and accepted and championed forth. I believe it. They are out there. They are out there waiting for me and there is a little open space in the back of their minds and they keep checking their calendars and watches, waiting for me just like I keep checking my email and Instagram looking for them.
None of this has materialized yet, though.
I could just as easily be wrong.
I believe, but I also believed all three of my sons were going to be girls.
What do you think? What do our prayers do?
In my Inbox sits the most gracious “no.” I could have ever received. One of the biggest Literary Agents in the business has sent the kindest words about my work and my writing. She didn’t have to do this. She meant them. The most difficult hurdle to my book being accepted by a publisher? Not enough of a following. Not enough of a platform. 6,300 instagram followers? Small potatoes, and not even close to what is required to make me a worthy risk. Beautiful writing? “Strong Narrative hand and powerful, masterful storytelling”? Not enough. Show us the numbers.
Somebody call the WAHhh-mulance. For now, I go about my life of doing “nothing”, as my son would call it. Which has meant writing letters and sending out queries to agents every day since the “no” came in, continuing to write the book, two meetings, a cardiologist appointment, a trip to the hospital with Zion for him to see his neurologist, and an IEP meeting with the school to see how he’s progressed his second time through kindergarten and if we are finally gonna break the tape and make it to first grade. Don’t forget laundry and the cleaning of the kitchen and track meets and shuttling the kids to various practices and events.
.. “each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Even still, the sun pours through the windows.