12 days until awesome.
I have given myself until the end of this year to indulge in my fantasy of being a writer.
After that, the real world with it's real bills and real deadlines is going to kick in, and I am going to have a massive reality check.
But of course, the real world doesn't operate on my timeline. Fate doesn't adhere to a calendar year.
Which is why my two weeks were cut short so abruptly by the arrival of the Dude.
This is how my life has unfolded, and how it continues to unfold. I can't believe it happened again, now, at this moment. Fate literally reached out and said "Are you high? You must be high. You must have lost your Ever Loving Mind to think that this...... that all of this was going to just happen without my say so."
"I'll always have Camp Mighty" I consoled myself. "I snuck that one in there. This whole year has been amazing. I have traveled and spread my wings and spent time as I saw fit. I quit the awful job, and I spent the summer in my childhood home, and I traveled with the team, and I wrote and wrote and wrote. It was a good run."
It was. It was a good run.
But now I am at the end of the line. I have a 3 day old baby staying with me indefinitely. I have two kids in private school and I have run up quite a tab this year, trying to experience some of the things I was sorry I missed when I was younger. I may not have been allowed to experience dating Eddie Vedder, and Sam refuses to live in Manhattan so I guess that'll never happen - but I crossed some stuff off that list I had in my head of "shit I happily sacrificed to have a family, but kind of wish I could try anyway."
And the last thing on the list - attending a real writer's workshop, and having my writing critiqued and maybe even getting some writing together that I could send to a publisher - was supposed to happen this week.
The workshop starts tomorrow.
Dude arrived yesterday.
The kids are on Christmas break.
And I can't justify spending money on a writing workshop - it is ludicrous.
I have to stop now. I have to stop, and accept the wonderful things that I have been given, that I have experienced, that I continue to enjoy. My friends, my family, my Dude.
I sat down last night and held the baby and realized that. That it was a sign. That I was getting greedy. That I had been given enough - more than most. That I didn't need a book deal or a fancy job or an apartment in the city. That I was not brave enough or strong enough or good enough for that. I was a mom, and a wife, and a friend, and a sister and a daughter.
It was enough.
It is enough.
And then I got this text from Sarah:
"If you need baby help so that you can go to your conference, I'm off Tuesday and Wednesday. It's important that you go if possible."
It was a glimmer. It was a brass ring.
And I grabbed it.
In this season of giving that I hate so very much, I have been given something I can't really explain to you, but that has restored my faith. Restored a part of me that has been elusive. The part of me that believes that it is okay to reach for things that seem completely out of the question without looking foolish. It is okay to dream big. Even when you are a middle-aged stay-at-home mom who lives in the middle of nowhere.
I don't think this writing conference is going to be my big break. I've been writing for years, and god knows no one from the publishing world has been in touch. This workshop could just be another thing I use to distract myself from my actual life of running a household - which is decidedly unglamorous and not particularly fulfilling for me intellectually. This workshop is like getting on a merry go round and picking the horse of your dreams and pretending you are galloping through the countryside with Mary Poppins, the wind in your hair. Buy the ticket, take the ride. So why do I bother? Have I forgotten that merry go rounds make me nauseous?
I bother because if you don't keep reaching for the brass ring, what's the point? If you give up, you'll never know how far a little faith can take you.
So for all of you people out there who don't have a job, or hate your job, or feel trapped or left behind, or who are afraid to reach for something that seems unattainable, who believe that it is too late, or too crazy.......close your eyes and reach out your hand. I am right here. And I am cheering you on.
Let's do this.
18 minutes ago