Instead of flying all around Dade to find her blind students, Andi’s home school is minutes from the house and all her visits are in the immediate area. Her day ends at 3:20 and she’s home at 3:30 most days (not that I’m there, but I’ve heard tell of it). She's seeing a psychologist and watching her diet. Most of all, she’s fulfilled a lifelong dream and become the lead singer in a band.
For my part, I got my first blog comment from someone I don’t know; I’m very famous.
In all seriousness, I’ve been more aggressive with my writing. It’s been something I’ve done, now it’s something I’m sharing. Agents, publicists, friends, whoever. Plus, pushing this cursor across your screen. I had an art show, my first since college. Algonquin asked me to write a marketing letter for the Cake Mix Doctor Returns! I’m reading for Lip Service at Books & Books on the 26th. I’ve started doing yoga again, and the fact that my hip hurts for two days afterwards tells me how badly I’ve needed it. I’ve added nightly pushups and crunches to my biking routine.
This sounds like a lot of exercise, but I sit at a computer in the morning for my personal work, all day for a job, then at night for fun. It’s get off my ass or become a pear, and no one wants to date a pear. Well, maybe arugala, lemon zest, and a pinch of cayenne want to date a thinly sliced pear and make an unexpectedly delightful side salad, but besides that pears are lonely.
My point is, our lives as individuals are going well, but I'm used to sharing these moments with my best friend. As much as I would have loved to see her singing debut, the thought was too painful. I can only take sharing a room with her in small doses, forget watching her light up a crowd. And her presence at the art show was awkward at best.
If my book(s) is/are published, I’ll take a group of friends out to celebrate. We will laugh and have fun and I will be happy. But as amazing as my friends are, and as lucky as I am to know them, none of them allowed me to take a fifty percent pay cut to have more time to write. None of them gave up a room in their homes for me to write. None of them know how badly I’ve wanted to make a career out of this, and how rare it is for me to know exactly what I want and fight for it. None of them has put up with my moodiness when it hasn’t been going well.
We separated. We stopped putting everything we had into each-other and worked on ourselves and we’re better people. I couldn’t strive for what I want and make good choices if it hadn’t been for the success of our marriage, if I hadn’t grown in ways I couldn’t articulate if I had a thousand pages.
Yet the tools for success would have gathered dust if my marriage hadn’t failed. Is that irony? Or just the way life plays out sometimes?
Often you lose good things to make room for great things.