Something wonderful happened recently at a time that I very much needed something wonderful to happen. Spirituality and Health, one of the magazines I am an avid reader of, sent me an email saying they wanted to publish a story I had pitched.
I was over the moon. I have done some pro bono work for up and coming online magazines, but this would be my first real, PAID publications. And to a magazine that comes to me in the mail! I literally picked up my most recent copy and danced around the room with my cat trying to explain to him that Momma’s words were going to be on these pages. He just looked at me funny and said, “Get off me Mom!” Or Meow. Same difference.
This article is especially near and dear to me because it is about a friend of mine, who happens to be gay and wanted to have a Catholic wedding. The series of events that made this impossible event possible was so miraculous (made me cry every time) that I knew I had to share it. So when I queried only ONE magazine and got an acceptance I thought it was another miracle. Everyone told me I would have to query 100 times or more and I was 1 for 1! Maybe there was something to be said to surrendering to God’s plan and everything would fall into place.
But then, something weird happened. After I accepted the offer there has been radio silence. I submitted my article within the deadline requested but haven’t heard a thing. Not even a, “Thanks! Got it!” It’s gotten to the point that, after three follow up emails over the past three weeks, I have to repeatedly pull up the original acceptance email so I know I haven’t gone all Girl, Interrupted, had a psychotic break, and made the whole damn thing up.
This situation has stirred up a lot fears within me like, “Here we go again, it’s always too good to be true.” Or “They read your article and decided you were such a bad writer it would be an embarrassment to even respond. Also they blacklisted you for life.” OK. Obviously, this is dramatic. But what is going on????
In order to not completely sabotage myself, i.e. sending an email every hour on the hour until they actually say I am blacklisted, I’ve done a lot of meditating. I’m also writing this right now instead of sending them a neurotic message saying, “What’s wrong? Why don’t you love me?” I mean, it didn’t work with any of my past boyfriends. Probably wouldn’t work on an editor.
I just finished a book called The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer. It’s an amazing book. I highly recommend it. He basically tried to go meditate by himself in the woods forever (I get it, there are days at work I want to do that, too) but he had a vivid dream that he could only find his true peace and enlightenment by living within the world. So he decided to just say yes to whatever life presented him with. He ended up with a multi billion dollar software company. Not bad, right? But it was the little things that, to me, were so miraculous in this story. How he met the right person at the right time. And how, when he was able to merely observe that voice in his head instead of taking it at face value, circumstances would fall into place without him even doing anything.
I’ve been experimenting with surrender a lot. I get up every morning and surrender to whatever life wants me to do, because clearly I’ve been fucking it up with my own devices. If I’m supposed to act, I’ll act. If I’m supposed to write, I’ll write. If I’m supposed to be a sommelier, I’ll learn about wine. If it’s something else entirely, cool. Show me, because at this point in my life I just want to be HAPPY.
So I’m choosing to use this uncomfortable experience as a lesson. Everything’s probably fine. They literally just finished their November/December issue. I got it in the mail yesterday. So I’m sure in a couple days they will get in touch with me as my article is for the January issue. In the meantime, I will sit with those nasty voices in my head and tell them that it’s not true, I am good enough. And even if they decided not to publish my article I can publish it here. I surrender. What I will not do is act like a crazy person and give in to that voice. If I need some drama, I’ll step away from my email and turn on some Real Housewives.
I’d love to hear about some of the voices in your head as well. Mostly so I don’t feel schizophrenic. But also so we can slay them together!