When you’re a dreamer, there’s a big nasty pit – well, several really – that you have to work really hard to avoid. It’s the pit of Never Being Satisfied. Michael’s been warning me about it ever since I signed with my agent and whirled so quickly from satisfied to Now If Only that I probably actually said this sentence: I have an agent now and it is so awesome and amazing just to have the feeling that Anything is Possible Now that nothing has to happen in my writing career ever again but I don’t know what I’ll do if I don’t get a book deal soon. Michael didn’t actually tell me to stop it. He just related to that thing where you know exactly what you want and what you’re working toward and then you get it and it’s not enough, or you want it again, or you discover the new thing to want way before you’ve actually reveled in the old one.
Along those lines, I loved this post by author Lindsey Leavitt (she writes Princesses, among other things, and every girl’s dream to get to be one for just a little while). In the post she talks about the let-down that often accompanies the realizing of a goal. She does it brilliantly. Dreamers aren’t always this open and vulnerable about the journey. It’s hard enough to be one as it is.
Having a book in the world, as you know, was a dream of mine. I was pretty sure I wanted it to happen a certain way, and it didn’t. Traditional publishers didn’t take on my little book with the sadly all-too-familiar central theme, and I had to go another way. And because of that I’ve realized the difference between “my wildest dreams” and my goal. In my wildest dreams, Oprah called. But the goal was more like: I’m pretty sure I have things to give. I want to work really hard at it and put it out there so that I know I’ve done my part.
And now? I’m there. I did all that. I wrote the book. I revised the book. I put it out there. It feels more like a gift than a vacuum (in which I attempt to suck all the good for myself), and that adds much to the happy. Dad likes it. My oldest son told me it will be big someday. My uncle cried. And you know what? It’s enough. I’ll never stop dreaming. I’ll never stop writing. And as I’ve mentioned before, a decent Want List is actually a sign of happy for me – so I’ll be tweaking that one too. But that horrible ache that wonders if I’ll ever accomplish anything close to my goal, if I’ll ever work hard enough or if I’ll ever get OUT the something I knew was inside, that ache is gone.
Well. At least it’s gone for now.