I have had the same problem every day this week. I’ve woken up, started to get to work and have then become hopelessly distracted by one thought:
“Oh my gosh, my life is so freaking awesome, I can hardly stand it.”
I know. What a problem to have, right? Go ahead, spend a minute resenting me if you’d like, but the thing is, a lot our lives are really freaking awesome – it’s just easy to lose track of that fact.
Three weeks ago, for example, I was in the midst of the most insane month of work ever. It began with the fact that I’m new to this self-employment game and I have yet to learn when or how to say “no” to anything. I’d therefore accepted an unreasonable amount of feature article assignments at the same time, and due to interview scheduling and some other factors, I ended up being in the middle of writing six stories at the same time. Oh, and my stint filling in as news editor for Capital Gains for a few weeks turned into (to my absolute delight) a permanent position. And did I mention that I also work with New Moon Visions, a (completely awesome and super-dee-duper) community branding and marketing firm, and that while all this was going on I was also in the middle of organizing the biggest and most important event of our contract with our newest client?
Yeah, that might have been too much work. It’s therefore unsurprising that I allowed the stress of waking up so early and working, working, working all day and most weekends to cloud my perspective. I was spending so much time thinking, “Why did I do this to myself?” and “There is no way I can pull this off” and “I’m so hungry – why are crackers and wilted spinach the only food in the entire loft?”, and not a single second thinking,
“Holy crap. I’m a full-time, working writer.”
I have wanted to be a writer since I was about 13. I had no idea what that entailed, but I was unreasonably sure I wanted to do it. When adults asked me what kind of writer I wanted to be, I masked my confusion by saying, “I want to be a real writer, you know? I want to write things that mean something.”
So apparently the word “literary” was missing from my vocabulary. That’s OK though, because I was still ten years away from realizing that I’m an atrocious fiction writer, and had no idea that creative non-fiction was even a thing.
Awesomely enough, that didn’t prevent me from calling myself a writer. It wasn’t a complete exaggeration either; to this day I still have the dozens (upon dozens) of journals I worked on filling on a near daily basis throughout middle school, high school, and even into college. I haven’t carried them in and out of some 7 different residences in ten years just in case I one day wake up with the dire need to remember who I sat next to during a particular Tawas Braves basketball game in 1998. I’ve kept them with me all these years because the journals were my evidence. For my entire life, they were the proof that I was a writer.
Somehow, in the midst of stressing over having so much work to do in the last month I overlooked the opportunity to acknowledge that the journals are no longer my only claim to the title of writer. My alarm going off in the morning is proof; paying my Blue Cross bill is proof; in fact, having too much work is the best affirmation I could have ever asked for, proving that I am what I set out to be way back when I was still collecting Happy Birthday Barbies and pulling my sister’s hair: a real writer.
It’s amazing what a vacation can do for one’s perspective – particularly one during which the greatest person you’ve ever met proposes to you in a fancy restaurant overlooking a romantic and twinkling San Francisco Bay. Just more evidence of how incredible my life has suddenly and fiercely become. So one more time, just because I can’t stop thinking it:
“Wowzers. Everything about my life is awesome.” *
*Note to self: And don’t forget it.