But as soon as I want a snack:
I think the only theme I was working with was empathy.
There’s a story in the book called “Thief,” which is an exercise in empathy that I’ve given...”
This morning I was browsing the news as I do every morning and read about the following:
September is a month of beginnings and ends. The summer fades and the heat drops. In Minnesota the State Fair draws to a close and the early batch of leaves begin to change. Back to School Sales are everywhere you look, triggering the pavlovian new year year feeling of an American youth. For me it is the last month I will be whatever age it is I’ve been for the past year. Goodbye, September. Hello, twenty-eight.
Once, after we’d had dinner or drinks with someone, Jeff suggested I figure out a better answer to “What’s new?” than half a shrug, a long pause and “Not too much.” He was teasing, but I felt embarrassed. I’m so boring, I thought. I’m so boring it’s literally embarrassing.
(This, concerned loved ones, is supposed to be a joke.)
Writing rejections are starting to trickle in from the round of submissions I sent off in August and sometimes I don’t bat an eye and then, sometimes, they sting. Especially when they’ve been out extra long and I was hoping.
And then, sometimes, I get a hit. I am always surprised and suddenly shy and immediately begin to downplay it in my head. Like, it’s not that big of a deal, it’s such a small thing, anyone could have done it.
I kind of hate that about myself, that voice that pops up and goes, “Meh…” My inner critic isn’t even passionate enough to tell me I suck. She just kind of narrows her eyes and stifles a yawn and says, “Hmm. B. Wait, B- for all those typos.”
The birthday thing makes me reflective. How can it not? In a lot of ways things are better this year than they were last year. I am happier. I do not feel like everything is uncertain. In the last year I’ve gone to Cuba and gone hot air ballooning and finally read The Great Gatsby (all good things!). My writing/”career” is still stalled or only inching forward ever-so-slowly and I still worry daily about money, but short of winning the lottery or finding a genie in a lamp these things do not change overnight (or “overyear”?).
So, that was the ninth month. Business as usual. (Not that I’d have it any other way.)