I wrote the following post for another site, but since I shared a running post with you on Wednesday, I thought that it dovetailed nicely.
The year I approached the San Antonio Express News about writing a running column, which then became a blog, was a turning point in my life. Boy was planning his wedding, the business Husband and I had built was shuttered (by our hand) and I was left with a future of uncertainty.
What would I do now?
My years of mothering were thisclose to being over, in the traditional sense. I knew Boy would still need his mother whether married or not, as we all do, but as a mom to a married man my mothering would be offered only when asked. I was firm about this.
Our business, in a male-dominated arena, was a such a deep and wide learning experience for me that even to this day I am served by the knowledge I gained from being told “no” repeatedly. Tell me “no” today (in my business of writing) and I’ll bide my time, baby.
I’ll get back to you.
What of my writing? My books, the novels that took me years to write, weren’t finding the homes I had hoped. I had the talent and drive, yet traditional publishing was on the cusp of immense change and I was rethinking my path.
As I mentioned, Boy was planning his wedding and I thought it might be fun and a great stress reliever to train for and run my first marathon that year. Looking back, it was. I’m still glad I tackled the challenge at that moment. It kept me busy (IE out of the bride’s way:) and my head clear for the tasks and emotion strain of what was ahead.
MY BABY’S GETTING MARRIED!
Because I was looking for a way to start making money from my writing, and because I knew the copy would be entertaining, I sent an email proposal to the editor of the Express News. (Yes, I was born with these balls.) He wrote back, intrigued, and the rest is history.
I had my first gig.
Cut to today. Today, I’ll be attending a VIP event, an exclusive cocktail party, for the Rock and Roll Marathon kick-off here in San Antonio.
What the hell happened?!
I look back over the events that have lead me here, not just to the party, but to this place where I share my passion for running with a large audience and then get invited to do stuff with people in the community that are, well, waaay less goofy than I.
Part of me feels like I’m sneaking in with the cool kids.
Yet, there’s a bigger part of me that feels like it’s simply the most amazing and wonderful hope of life playing out. With that initial email, I pushed open the door I wanted to walk through, I worked my ass off once inside and now find myself invited to the party I imagined myself attending so many years ago.
Well, not this exact party. Figuratively speaking, of course.
Nevertheless, the invite arrived.
It should be noted that for the last week, up until yesterday, I have had an entertaining-to-everyone-but-me stomach virus. I didn’t dare mention aloud that I might not be able to go, because I didn’t want to imagine that outcome. It seemed so cruel.
Miraculously, the virus has left me (literally)…(ew)…(double ew) and all that’s left of my dream crushing ailments is my gimpy injured foot. The same foot that I can’t seem to get in a shoe. NO SHOE?! No shoe. At least not for the last month or so, other than a running shoe, which of course, would never do for a party worthy of so much more.
You think I’m letting that stop me?
I stepped into my closet today and tried on all the shoes. Then, made all the painy faces. Then, shook my old-man fist at the heavens. COME ON! There’s a dream on the line.
Thankfully, I found that I can tolerate (for how long we are about to find out) my boots. The plan is to get those boots on, find something that won’t look ridiculous paired with them, and get myself to the party and enjoy the moment.
I have no idea where I will be tomorrow, nor what door I may be pushing open, but for today, I am grateful and full of wide-eyed wonder that my insistence all those years ago to a room full of editors, has lead me here.
I can’t wait.