In the eleven months I’ve been keeping this blog, I’ve begun to notice a few things about the way the mind works. How it strives to keep things looking bleak, perhaps so that when joy occurs, it will stand out by comparison.
Then there are those days when you’re able to break through a pattern that has been so much a part of your life that it’s become like a second skin. Over the years I have raged at it, coaxed and cajoled it, even tried to reason with it as I attempted to move toward some sort of final releasing point, where I could finally be rid of it for good. Today, I stood up for myself in a way I have never done before. And it wasn’t really like anything I expected.
Most people picture fighting of some sort when you say you’re standing up for yourself. They imagine swords drawn, defensive battle postures, grimacing faces. Not that I didn’t get irritated — I suppose sone of that is required before we all reach our limits and set an impermeable boundary. I did, a little. And then I got tough.
It’s not something I can talk about in detail because it’s still ongoing, but suffice it to say that I have been offered several great career opportunities since my book Searching for Sassy came out. I’ve had agents circling, publishing companies interested in putting it out on their own labels, and film and television producers vying for the rights. It’s all been pretty heady and confusing at times, even though I have a pretty good working knowledge of how these things work, since I’ve been employed in both the publishing and film industries in the past.
The thing is, there are all kinds of people, in each of these businesses. There are your sharks, who want to dominate you (and the conversation, apparently), even if no money is actually yet changing hands. There are your artist wannabees, who will never get quite as close to writing a book as sitting across from you on an expensive couch, and those who crave power and influence, to somehow affect the culture at large. You meet enough of them, and they all start to look the same.
But I’ve learned that breakthroughs seldom come when you’re trying to make them happen. They tend to creep up on you, waiting to strike when you’re not expecting it. So you have to be ready to walk away from something if need be, even if the very thing you’re being offered is the thing you want most.
I did that today. I was ready to walk away, even though it was painful, and I ended up winning. It required absolute nerves of steel. And even though this may not happen all the time, or even most of the time, just the act of standing firm and saying no made my legs and little stronger underneath me, and my connection to the earth all the support I needed to move forward.