I wrote a thing. I submitted the thing to three blogs I follow. One of them accepted it.
Sixth grade. I don’t remember the exact reason, but I was being emotional about something, and Dad was cradling me in his arms, sitting in a chair, telling me that it was okay. Eventually, the conversation turned to him telling me that I can do whatever I want. If I can read, I can learn. Because of Dad, I learned to read beginner-level chapter books by the age of 4. Therefore, I can do whatever I want/dream. I told him I wanted to be a writer. “Good! So DO it!” he half-shouted at me.
Nothing came of that dream until I was thirty-ish.
Something started scraping away all the crap. Everything that had been covering what/who I felt I was meant to be. Maybe parenthood. Maybe that. Maybe having my body shredded and raw, bleeding and stitched and barely able to walk, feeling like I was dying but still being able to sustain another life outside my own… Maybe that helped me.
Recently, Dad was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic lung cancer. It sucks. He’s going to be dead way sooner than any of us EVER expected, even in our worst nightmares. I cry a lot. I’m angry a lot. But I’ve also been changing. A lot.
This Spring was when I submitted my piece to Jennifer Pastiloff’s blog. I didn’t expect it to get published. She’s a HUGE deal. Have you read her book On Being Human? If not, go now. Go buy it. Also buy 6 boxes of Kleenex, because you’ll need it. I expected my amateur article to be rejected by 500 blogs and publications, likely never being accepted. I know that writing (and having the opportunity for others to read your writing) is a long haul. But honestly? Who gives a shit? Writing makes me feel good. It’s my therapy. I do well with written word, not so much with speech. My thoughts run amok and I can’t keep them aligned well enough to hold an intelligible conversation. Because of that, I’ve learned to become the listener and people watcher.
Anyway, parenting, marriage, being partner to a surgeon-in-training are all wild journeys in their own rights. I chose to write about all of it in my first official rambling, and am beyond grateful for those who have reached out to me. Some near, some far, all with words of solidarity, support, and wisdom. I’m sharing this now, months after publishing on the blog, because I’m sad today. Hell, I’ve been sad since July. Deeply sad. Depressed, I guess. Because I don’t want my dad to die so soon, and there’s nothing I can do about it. But I CAN focus on things that bring me happiness. Like reliving the feelings of reading the email from Jen and her team saying they were thrilled to let me know they’d be publishing my two cents. It was like someone standing next to me with a megaphone pointed at my ear, shouting “YOU’RE ENOUGH! YOU’RE ENOUGH! YOU’RE ENOUGH!”
I’m grateful. For all of it. All of you.
That’s all for today.
Oh. And Dad? Thank you for teaching me to read. ;)