It was an intense last couple of weeks, friends. Just lots of mental and spiritual stretching, as I keep learning how to get out of my own way and just enjoy all the blessings, while continuing the work — the wonderful work of being a writer and a human.
About two weeks ago, I suffered a stinging rejection. The reason it stung so hard was my own fault, really. I had simply amped myself up way too much for a totally different outcome. This was going to be the culmination of my journey, you see. This was going to be the answer to all my yearning. This one was the one. I could feel it (when I wasn’t freaking myself out). I could not stay away from email. Finally, finally, I told myself, I knew how it was all going to go down. Finally, everything would make sense, the fairy tale complete, and she lived happily ever after.
Rejections are usually not a big deal at this point for me. Normally, they have an impact of barely a drop of rain on a partially cloudy Tuesday. Sometimes they make me nod. Sometimes they make me smile. But that one. Oh no. No, no, no, no, noooooo.
Okay, I said to myself, looking back from my phone, looking back up at the world gone gray, okay. Clearly, the Universe doesn’t want me to write. Fine. I got it. I am done. I am done, Universe. Throughout that day, I wanted to be done in more ways than one. With almost a kind of relish, I questioned, what was the point of me again? Why did the Universe torture me so by even keeping me around, this little failure? It was just a mood, just a moment; even right then I knew it would be fleeting. But yeah, I went there.
Late that same afternoon, though, I had to present a panel about youth protest in YA literature at AWP here in Seattle. (Yes, this happened during a conference! if you were one of the people trying to talk to me that morning, I am sorry!) I sat through workshops and other people’s panels like a ghost, floating in and out of the here and the now. I don’t know how I was able to absorb some beautiful works and inspiration from poets and authors, but somehow, I did. Their works touched my spirit, exposed as it was. Their words prodded me onward. When at last, it was time for my own panel, I genuienly couldn’t understand: the attendees were just so excited! Even as I wondered, their excitement couldn’t help but excite me back. They laughed, they listened, they cared. They took careful notes — I mean, what? Why were these wonderful strangers writing down the words I was saying? They thanked me and my author sisters for doing this panel; they expressed so much joy and gratitude at getting to go to this one, not realizing how grateful I was, in this moment, for them, how their powerful questions felt like yet another call to action, how without knowing it, they reminded me, so sweetly, to just keep doing my thing.
(Left to right: Authors Diana Ma, Lyn Miller-Lachmann and yours truly.)
So…thank you, my dear friend Lyn Miller-Lachmann, author of acclaimed Torched, out last year from Carolrhoda Lab, a book that, incidentally, collected, like, every major star out there from Kirkus to Publisher’s Weekly 😉 I am grateful for Lyn for inviting me to this panel. And I am grateful for all the people in my life who are cheering me on regardless of this outcome or that one, and who, while believing in me, also remind me pretty regularly that I don’t need to prove anything, that I am already worthy, imperfect and true.
Today, the rejection and the panel already feel like ages ago. Even when that day had hit, I knew, I knew, I’d emerge stronger and somehow, more clear-headed, more inspired than ever, and here I am. Hi!
Today is the new moon, and for this lunar month, my intention is to SURRENDER.
Not like, give up, in a sad way. I’ve tried this before, over and over. I think if I could have given up writing by now, I would have. So no, that’s not the surrender I mean. This month, and going forward forever, my intention is to let go of the grasping. Let go of the waiting. Let go of the yearning. Surrender to the now, surrender to my own spirit, surrender to my own greatness that is with me now, today. So I can dive deeply back into what I already have, all the way into it. So I can keep enjoying, fully, ENJOYING this ridiculously glorious ride.
Happy New Moon! Happy spring, dear friends. I am so grateful to be here with you all. ❤
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