For my 30th birthday, there is no gift that anyone could ever possibly get me that would come anywhere near the gift that my best friend got me: she made me a person!
Of course she didn’t do it for me, but the day before my birthday, July 25, my best friend in the whole world gave birth to a little girl. So of course, that just means that I have one more person to lavish handmade gifts upon.
I recently had my first child, a girl we named Bronwyn. As she gets older I find myself worrying about her a lot. Not the standard worries about dropping her, or trying to eat the electrical socket, or not liking vegetables.
I worry that she will be self-concious. I worry that someday a man or woman will make her feel useless and stupid. I worry that she will spend years fretting over her weight, her skin, her hair.
I look at every part of her and I analyze it for me. I think “oh, she has my knees,” and I apologize to her for that. I apologize for giving her my very fine hair. I pray for her father’s metabolism.
But in doing these things, I am reinforcing exactly the things I don’t want for her. I don’t want her her to think that any of these things are a detriment. I want her to know that she is strong and beautiful no matter what her knees look like or whether or not she is thin. As much as I pride myself on my self-confidence, my concerns over her future insecurities tells me that I am still insecure, and I still need work if I am going to raise someone who is as sure of herself as I pretend to be.
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As you get older, you find yourself negotiating with the plans that you had previously thought were non-negotiable. Your plans become suggestions, and then forgotten ideas.
I decided that I would not let that happen to me. However, I would have to rethink some of my milestones. For example, suddenly a PhD in English seems unobtainable. Florida schools are notorious for not wanting to admit students who have BA’s from other Florida schools, and at this stage of my life, moving out of state is simply not feasable. So I set my sights on a different discipline.
Then came the book. It’s been finished for nearly 3 years now. I’ve recieved somewhere in the realm of 10 rejections from agents. Yes, I know vampires are last week’s news. But I don’t care. I believe in my work, and I will get it out there.
So what do you do? Do you turn to a vanity publisher? (No). Do you Self Publish? (Maybe). Do you hold out hope that some agent will realize that you’re brilliant and offer to push your book? (Yes?).
Self-publishing is a brobdingnagian affair that is exhausting just to read about. An editor has been hired; next, I just need someone to hold my hand through the next few steps. Or an agent to sweep me off my feet.
I’ll take either right about now.