“It’s about the journey, not the destination.”
Sorry, no. Not for me. The in-between stuff sucks.
Everything about my life right now is in-between. At home, my daughter, a senior in high school, has one foot out the door. Bound for UC Irvine, I hardly see her anymore. Between school, nuclear fusor club, social life and errands, she’s gone 85% of any given day. Not launched but not on her own yet, either, she’s inches from her high school finish line. Yes, I’m excited for her and anxious and proud and sad and happy. All. At. Once. But, I know what comes next. In three months she’ll have a new address she calls home. Not yet, though.
On the work front, my publisher, Booktrope, called it quits. Generous and kind, they are returning all rights back to their authors on May 31st, but I’m not sure what to do next. Midway through the writing of my third book in the Stone Witch series, have I mentioned that I’m not sure what to do next? Should I self-publish the series? Or find an agent willing to pitch my series to a legacy? Or pray for heavenly intervention in the form of a perfect publishing contract? Hmm.
If you’ve followed my blog or read my books then you know I’m a spiritual person. I’ve been receiving signs everywhere. It’s clear that right now what I’m supposed to do is…wait. Wait? ‘Wait’ is my least-favorite verb, tied with ‘hate,’ of course. Wait. Pause. Hold. Ugh.
I was five when I became uncomfortable with in-between times.
The summer before kindergarten, my parents called it quits. We’d lived in California where Dad taught at UCLA. Though dusty and yellow, Mom had a teaching credential from Washington state. She packed that old paper, my brother and me into a car and moved us north. She had connections there and found a teaching position easily. In fact, she and I started kindergarten the same day.
Summer vacation came that year and while my friends slept in, Mom packed us into the car again and headed south. We’d meet Dad somewhere in Oregon, a city that changed depending on which parent won the fight on the phone the week before. As we drove, I tried to ignore the stone in my gut . To prepare for the inevitable goodbye, I imagined saying the words to Mom in my head, over and over. If I imagined it vividly enough, I hoped I wouldn’t need to cry in real life. Because I couldn’t cry. That might hurt Dad’s feelings. Or upset my other mom. Or make Mom sad and ruin her summer.
Three months after that, Dad drove us north. Again, I’d rehearse the goodbye so I wouldn’t blubber when I hugged Dad and new Mom in Oregon. It never worked. Every year I bawled. Every year I got into the car of the one parent with the snot and tears from missing the other parent drying on my cheeks.
I’ve never savored the journey. For me, the journey hurts. it’s when I hide hurts and pretend to be okay. Well, I”m older now. I know there’s no magic fast-forward button, and if there was, I’d be wise enough not to use it. I don’t want to miss a moment with my daughter before she flies from our nest. I don’t want to make a rash choice about the future of my books. I’m just going to wait.