We had plans; boy, did Mom and I have plans. There were hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill and a big bonfire in the fire pit, complete with s’more makings. We had my white radio with the primary colored buttons out on the deck. We cleared up the driveway and made the bathroom sparkle. Even my little brother chipped in.
50 invitations to my 13th birthday party, and I was sure it was going to be a huge success. This would be the thing that launched me into my teenage years with all the popularity, locker-side conversation, and boyfriends I could handle.
Then, Tutankhamun came to town. On tour. With all that gold.
5 people came to my birthday party.
Today, today, I’m very tired. It’s been a busy week for this writer – a book launch with such kind people who wrote such AMAZING things about my book God’s Whisper Manifesto. Two great chapel services with the young men at our local military school, where I got to see them honor the people in their lives who have battled cancer, where I watched them tear up and stay standing while hundreds of their classmates lit candles. A meeting of the amazing Relay For Life of Fluvanna planning committee, a group of people so committed to fight cancer that they dedicate a good portion of their time to it for nine months a year. A Twitter chat with folks from my book launch. New students to take my classes. Such gracious comments from you, my readers.
An amazing week, one that I am so grateful for.
And yet . . . and yet, I am discouraged and disappointed. I had this image of ending this week with hundreds of book sales (so far, I’ve had two) and tens of thousands of new dollars for the American Cancer Society. I dreamed of this absolute high by today, an elation so big I could almost float to the Virginia Festival of the Book later this morning.
This did not happen.
I’m still tired. I’m still jealous. I still wish I had sold 500 copies of my book. I still wish an agent had called with a great offer for You Will Not Be Forgotten.
And yet . . . and yet, I smile. Because today, I get to spend the morning writing and then hearing other writers speak. I get to have lunch with one of my oldest and dearest friends. I get to read books I love and walk this gift of a mountain. I get to feel the kick of glee when one of you comments here, and I get to know – in the deepest, truest part of myself – that I am right where I need to be – huge book deals or not.
I get to trust that the Heart who gave me these dreams will make them real, one day, one shiny, glorious day, at a time.
I have this photo – I’m sitting on the couch with my friends at my 13th birthday party. We are eating cake and ice cream, and I’m wearing this atrocious hot pink, acid-washed sweater. We are all laughing.
What are you disappointed about today? Where do you find hope?