Last night I got a little irritated with the family.
Or maybe aggravated.
(Is there a difference between those two?)
Then I realized I was really irritated and/or aggravated with me and they were just an easy blame.
Let me do a little back-tracking. I’ll keep it short.
I’ll start with the subject of my irritation with my slightly aggravating family.
That’s it. The book.
I’ve never wanted to sky dive. Or climb Mount Everest. Or ride in a hot air balloon.
Or even ride a mechanical bull.
(OK. That’s a lie. Since the first of my 72 times of seeing Urban Cowboy, I’ve wanted to ride a mechanical bull.)
(I also wanted my name to be Sissy, but that’s another story.)
Some people probably wanna go gorilla trekking or swim with manatees. Not me.
I just wanted to see my name and something I wrote in a real, live book that real, live people would read.
Last August, I received an email from a friend of a friend of a friend who somehow came across my babbling here (thank you, blog…you finally paid off!) and asked if I’d be interested in submitting a writing to a book she was doing.
A book that would be full of inspirational stories from women who have tackled life and conquered fears and walked away doing ok.
I laughed. Inspirational? Really now?
Then I got nervous.
What could “I” possibly write about that would inspire or motivate anyone to do anything other than roll their eyes or punch their monitor?
I politely thanked her for her offer, but felt other women who have maybe, oh I don’t know, maybe survived cancer or survived an addiction or survived gorilla trekking would be of better use to the pages in her book she was offering me.
She refused that drivel and suggested I come up with something and have it in her inbox by the end of September.
I went blank. It took me over a week to put anything on paper only to destroy it 13 times and re-write it 19 times.
Then I still hated it.
So, I did it one last time. And I liked it. I was happy.
I sent it to her.
It was accepted.
I told no one for a while. I just kept my little happy secret to myself. I was giddy. Giggly. Stupid. Nervous. Elated. Ridiculous.
I was going to see my name and something I wrote in a real, live book that real, live people would read.
Me. I was. And so would people I didn’t know and would never know. And sweet Jesus what if one of them was inspired? Probably not, but what if?!?
I finally started bubbling over and told momma and the husband and my girl and who ever else was standing around within screaming distance to hear me.
Months went by and editing took forever and I finally received notice it could be ordered.
On Amazon. And Barnes and Noble soon.
(Those are real, live places to get real, live books. Not just the ones made up in my head. Real ones. That real, live people read.)
I ordered mine on Amazon this last Monday. It arrived yesterday Wednesday.
I was home alone and scratched and tore at the unbelievably great packaging they do to keep those books from getting opened when it arrives. And I was glad I was alone. I didn’t know if I’d laugh or cry or crap.
And I wanted to be alone whichever it was.
I’m page 104. I flipped it open fast.
There I was.
I cried. A little. But I did.
(Here’s where the irritation and/or aggravation comes in.)
Keith and Cayla came home.
He had a long day at work and she was exhausted from softball practice and the previous night of late night studying for a test in some class I can’t pronounce because kids take classes way beyond anything I took in high school these days.
I showed them the book. I showed them my pages.
Here’s what I got.
Cayla: “How cool! That’s a cute picture…is my name in there?”
Keith: “Wow, baby…it’s finally here! That’s great…let’s go get something to eat and I wanna read it when we get back.”
(Are you kidding me? This was one of the biggest moments of my life and she wanted to know if her name was in it and he wanted to read it after pizza??)
(I’m not sure what I wanted, but can somebody jump or high-five me or shoot off a bottle rocket or maybe even a weak little ‘whoop whoop’ or a bad version of that little dance PeeWee Herman does on the bar of that biker place to that song “Tequila” in that movie he did???)
It was half-way through that bad pizza dinner, during conversations of what he did at work that day and things that happened at softball practice, that I realized:
I did this for me. Not for anyone else. For me.
Then that’s when I got irritated and/or aggravated at me. For expecting them to provide my happiness and excitement.
Only I can do that.
And I did it.
I made it. Into a book. A real, live book that real, live people would read.
(Don’t get me wrong. I’m not being all stupid and unappreciative. My family is hugely supportive of everything I do. Giant-ness-ly. I think I just got so into it I thought it was as big a thing for them as it was for me. But hey, I don’t hoop and holler at softball games and I don’t get all goosebumpy over going to the rifle-range. I guess that makes us all even.)
We got home and I played it cool. I took a shower, made his lunch for the next day, then hopped in bed.
I put on my glasses and turned to page 104.
It was then I really saw “my” name and something “I” wrote in a real, live book that real, live people would read.
And I high-fived myself.
Kim Cass & Patti King