Ronan. I underestimate myself. I always have. I probably always will. I think I do this for a few different reasons. I think I do it as a way to try to protect myself from being hurt or let down. I think I do this because of the abandonment issues that I have with my father. I think I also do this because it motivates me to work harder. Whatever it is that I am doing I pour everything I have into it, but I do so with the mentallty that it will never be good enough. I kind of live this life where I expect the worst but hope for the best. I expect the worst by I try my hardest. And I love the little moments like last night where I go into a situation expecting all of my worst fears to come true but the opposite happens and I am shell shocked surprised…
Last night I raced out of the house to meet up with a friend of mine who I don’t know super well, but she has been behind the scenes for many years, rooting for me and helping me with some big things in the world of childhood cancer. She has been a steady and consistent force in my life that is happy just to stand on the sidelines, cheering away and helping with some really incredible things without needing or wanting to be in the spotlight. I love those types of people so much. On my drive over, your Mr. Sparky Eyes called me. (Told you, he still knows everything including the perfect time to call) I pick up, of course.
“How are you my darling.”
I fill him in on some basic things that happened during the day. I guess he could hear the hesitation in my voice.
“What’s wrong? You sound distant.”
He still knows me better than anyone in my life and I swear you still secretly communicate with him.
“I’m sorry. I’m not being distant, I’m just driving to meet up with my friend that I told you about. The girl that I told you about who offered to read my book if I wanted another opinion and another set of eyes to take a look at things. I’m just so nervous. What if she tells me it’s total garbage? What if I don’t know what I am doing and I actually don’t know how to write at all? What if my words don’t make her feel anything and I have to start completely over? I know I keep trying to explain to you how hard this book has been for me to write. How my blog came so easily to me but this book is an entirely different beast. I am not a trained professional! I didn’t go to school to be a writer. I don’t actually know what the fuck I am doing.”
He is laughing at this point. Side note: He has never read my blog.
“Listen, you know I haven’t read your blog and you know all of the reasons why. You know that I don’t feel as if I can read your book until you are finished with it and you know all of the reasons for that as well. I can’t be the one to tell you if you if you are a good writer or not because that is not the role I want to play in your life. You have other people to do that. You need to just go into this meeting with a positive attitude and an open mind and do not take any criticism personally. This isn’t personal. This is hard work. So you take whatever she tells you and use it constructively. You take whatever she tells you, listen and finish this fucking book already. I need to read it before I am dead.”
I hate when he says that last part because I can’t imagine being able to get through this life without him.
“I am listening to everything you have said, except for that last part. I’ll text you when I am done.” I hang up my phone just in time to see a text message from my literary agent, Nena.
HI! HOW ARE YOU?! CAN YOU CHAT TONIGHT? CAN’T WAIT!”
My Nena is a little firecracker that doesn’t stop. So much so that it can be hard for us to connect and the fact that I get this random text from her at 6:30 on a Wednesday night when we had no plans to talk makes it feel as the universe is singing to me. I just got off the phone with your Sparkly, Nena texts just as I am getting ready to meet my friend to go over my book? Talk about the stars aligning, I swear…
I call her as soon as I get to the restaurant and sit in the car to listen to all of the feedback she has for me. I had mentioned to her a few days prior that I was meeting up with someone who offered to take a look at my book just to make sure she was o.k. with that. She was and was actually really excited about it. I listen to all of feedback that Nena has for me and she is so enthusiastic and so complimentary that at one point I think to myself, “Wait… maybe I am actually a good writer and I don’t suck!” Nena doesn’t think I suck. She actually called me the next Elizabeth Gilbert… wait what? She actually said to me, “You have no idea what a raw, unique voice you have. Maya, I’m telling you I haven’t seen a young, budding author like you in a very long time and I know this is the beginning of many, many books for you. You have such a gift. You are an incredible writer.”
I went into meet Stephanie with a little more bounce to my step. “I don’t suck, I don’t suck, I don’t suck.”
We sat down for dinner.
“Should we dive right into it?” she says.
Let me just remind you, Stephanie is not only someone who I consider a friend, but she is also someone I have always completely looked up to. She is beyond fucking intelligent. She is a mother of 2 young kid AND also a professional power house. She has an amazing husband, job and life. Her opinion means so much to me.
I feel myself getting nervous for a split second as I take a deep breathe and hold it until she starts talking…
More later, little man. I have to run to get Poppy from school.
I miss you. I love you. I hope you are safe.