Today was supposed to be the day.
Today was supposed to be the day I met my lovely agent (Brettne Bloom of Kneerim & Williams) for breakfast in the neighborhood. The day I handed over a crisp stack of pages, a draft of Book Two.
Instead. Instead I am going on a field trip with Big Girl. We are walking across the Brooklyn Bridge with her preschool class. There will be no breakfast. And there will be no glorious hand-off of my manuscript.
I emailed Brettne earlier this week to tell her that I needed to postpone our breakfast, that something came up with my daughter. I also told her that I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to give her my chapters. I stumbled through some excuses and I hit send. I felt terrible and disappointed in myself. Somehow, I thought if I set a deadline for myself and announced it to the world, I would in fact meet it, and deliver.
Alas. Not so.
I got the most wonderful email back from Brettne. She told me that the best books often take a lot of time to write, that I should get her my pages when they are ready, that I should stop being so hard on myself. I read her words and I smiled and I knew things would be okay. And they will. They will be better than okay.
There will come a time, and soon, when I hand over those pages, when my story is one step closer to completion. I am just not sure when that will be. And I’m trying to be alright with this, this not knowing part. And I’m also trying to remember that I am a busy creature, that my girls are young and won’t always be. This trip to the Brooklyn Bridge? I think it’s as important as that breakfast, and that draft. Maybe even more so?
I know I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. The rub is that this is what I’ve done for upwards of three decades; I’ve expected a ton from myself, maybe too much. I’ve disciplined myself. This is what I know to do, how I know to get things done. So I am wondering if this is something I want to really try to change or whether this is truly something I’d be able to change at this point?
I’m not really sure where I am going with all of this, but I guess I felt it was important to acknowledge this day, this day that will no doubt end up being good, just a bit different than I’d pictured it. This day on which I can’t help thinking about the symbolism of bridges. Bridges big and small and in-between. Bridges real and revered. Bridges anticipated and imagined.
I am realizing some things, and trying to accept them, too: We don’t always get to the other side when we predict we will. And there is meaning not just in arriving, but also, and maybe especially, in making our way.
Thank you, Brettne, for being such a thoughtful partner in this complicated-for-me personal/professional process. I am excited and honored to be working with you. One day this story is going to be there and it’s going to be great, right?
Are you hard on yourself personally and/or professionally? How do you feel when you set goals and don’t meet them? Do you think we can learn to be more forgiving with ourselves?