When we see other people's success in something we feel is only meant for those with super special talent, there is always someone who pipes up and says, "You are next." I always laugh at that statement. Who am I anyway? Why would I deserve anything like this? But sometimes it feels so close. Like someone is giving you a preview of what's to come.
Today I played hooky from work and if my boss is reading this now, I'm actually flattered. I called in with the stomach flu, but I was really at a book reading in Seattle. I LOVE my job, but this was an important event that I promised myself I wouldn't miss.
I was talking to my husband today on a walk around Greenlake. I said, "My mother, my best friend Lena, two of my co-workers and original Writers Rising members, my co-worker's friend, and my writing coach/editor are coming to this event. I feel like this is my book reading, but it isn't."
My husband said, "In a way, it is. Everything is connected."
Laura Munson kept appearing in my e-mail inbox one day. I had no idea who she was. I opened up one of the e-mails from her and found out that she is a writer in Montana who was published in the New York Times. Her article, Those Aren't Fighting Words, Dear was so popular that it ended up temporarily shutting down the comment section. After years of trying to get a book published, she landed a book deal with a very large publishing company.
A friend from college recommended my blog to her and that's how she found me. We ended up talking on the phone for over an hour. At the end of our conversation, she encouraged me to contact her agent. I had just finished a book proposal, so I sent a query out to her agent. Within a week, I was offered representation for my book Lessons from the Monk I Married.
It is still all very surreal to me. Laura was in Seattle today for her book reading and I knew I had to go. I read her book in three days. While I was sitting with my family and friends at a table in the cafe which was attached to the bookstore, she came over.
I gave her a hug and it really felt like I had known her before. But this was the first time we had ever met. She was a messenger to me of what is possible.
There were so many people at the reading that the tiny little space they had for her really wasn't enough room for all the people who attended. It was a nice reading and afterward there was a book signing. People formed a long line to get their book signed. Laura signed my book with "To Katherine, Sister in Words, Yours, Laura."
I felt very good this evening. I needed to have this experience. I needed to see that everything is connected. That Laura's success is my success.
When you see someone doing something amazing, don't be surprised when someone pipes up with the statement, "You are next." Don't toss those words aside as ridiculous. Hold on to them and realize that anything is possible.