This is a hard part, for me.
This part where I’m working and doing what I love but everyone is watching to see if I’m a good story or a cautionary tale.
This part where I work until my eyes are tired and my back hurts… with no promise of success. No promise of a job, even. The part with highlighters and ink smudges and maps and charts and pictures of people I’ve never met on my computer screen because they look like the people in my mind. Headphones and dancing in my seat in Starbucks and moving my lips to the sound of somebody’s voice as I carve them into reality with my keyboard.
The part where I realize all those resumes I sent out have fluttered to the bottom of someone’s inbox, my name covered by hundreds of others just like me. And I’ve not become who I’m meant to be, yet, so my name has no singe to it, no burn. Nothing to make anyone look twice as I scream out for attention from black type face on still, white paper.
This part where I hear the doubtful undercurrent in people’s voices. I feel the need to apologize for myself, and for who and what I am. This is the part where I think people are saying bad things about me when they’re probably not, because I’m just that f**king self-conscious.
This is the part where I look at my daughter and wonder if she’ll ever be proud of me, or if I’ll have to teach her to follow your dreams even if they never turn around and embrace you. Maybe she’ll be proud of me either way.
This is the part where we’re broke, living with my family. The part where I dog-ear Stephen King’s autobiography until the pages rip and the spine sags, because he was once here, too. The part where I have nothing to offer at dinner parties but the slight promise to myself that I’ll be more, next time.
The part where my husband sits by my feet on the couch, hands me a glass of cheap, delicious wine, and tells me that this is the part where I need to be kind to myself, this ‘me in progress’. I tell him I don’t know what that would look like. He says he’ll show me, and he does.
In the story of my life, this is the part where I keep going, because I need to break in those $8.99 clearance shoes somehow.
This is the part where I stop picking the scabs rejection left on my battered little self and start learning to roll, so that the next time I hit the pavement going eighty I’ll recover a little faster. The part where Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and Katy Perry’s “Roar” are my top played songs on iTunes.
This is the part – the part where hope seems an awful lot like a pipe dream that doesn’t look all that great on a twenty-something with a kid and college loans comin’ due reeaaaal soon – that I need to embrace.
Because this is the part where I show myself that I deserve to be where I’m headed.
No matter how much it sucks right now, I know it’ll be the part of the book that breaks the spine. Because everyone wants to know how one does it. How one fights and pulls and pushes and gets through