Saturday, September 25, 2010

Leap, and The Net Will Appear

There was little else I could do. I had a book to finish, and its end was inevitable. I was not forced by anyone but myself, but I had to come back just the same – perhaps I had to come back even more because I was the only one making me.
So I did. I left Mexico and leaped back into my life in Washington. I have seen friends and family, gone to funerals and concerts, and fought in vain against trying to spend money. Because, you see, it’s hard to make money when you’re working 12+ hours a day trying to publish a book with the thought that you will be paid in the future for all your hard work.

I’m glad I came back, but there was a point a couple days ago when I bent double with the momentousness of what I had just done. On that morning, I took one final look at my book’s proof and pressed a button to send an email asking who in town wanted to carry it. I nearly threw up when the confirmation came back that it had sent. What was I thinking??? Despite the fact that I keep coming back to Chelan, I try to keep a low profile while I’m in town, but that was immediately blown out of the water. I was going to have to go around asking who wanted to sell my book, asking people who have known me – or my family at least – for a long time. There went anonymity.

I can’t quit this job. I can’t leave this business, because I am this business. Certainly I can escape, but it’s not like someone will take me out to lunch, lament the fact that I’m leaving, then hire someone to take my place.

I have been fighting a panic since I hit SEND. It is the kind of panic that comes from knowing that you have just stepped firmly on the right path, your path, and there is no going back. It is the panic of someone who has always had a way out, who has always been good at follow through but not long-term commitment, and I am afraid, utterly afraid, that I will fail.

It has all led me to this: the jobs in retail, graphic design, my journalism degree, my travels, my Spanish, my sales experience. I know what I’m doing, and anything I don't know I can learn. I know the steps I need to take to succeed. I have started taking them. Now I stand on another ledge, however. It’s the ledge where I commit to all the things I need to do to sell my book and sell it correctly. It is where I decide that I will not be wishy-washy about my writing, and use this book to launch a name for myself. This is the point where I decide that I can actually do what I set out to do when I left my job in Bellevue almost 2 years ago. This is the point where I have to start acting like I belong here, and that will take courage; courage I still have yet to muster up. As I said, I am at least aware of the steps I need to take to get me there, and the first steps have already been taken. Now, however, I’m staring at empty space and I have to have faith that the step is there and sturdy and can hold me, whether I can see it or not. I have to have faith in myself, and despite all my talk, many times that is the hardest thing for me to find.

I have learned recently, however, that you have to start acting like the change has taken place before it actually does: you have to act like you’re going to make it before you will. So here’s to the actions that speak louder than words, and to the Zen saying, “Leap, and the net will appear.”

Love and leaping kisses

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