There are moments that overwhelm me because they seem too good to be true to be a part of my life. I find myself holding my breath and slightly clenching my teeth, my heart pitter patters a little more rapidly, my head feels tight and tizzy, my nostrils flare, and my stomach feels as if it's slowly rounding to its original shape after someone squeezed it like a ball of silly putty. It's as if there isn't enough room in my head and body to absorb the sensation, and all the nerve impulses are pinging around looking for a place to land. Along with the sensation comes a deep gratitude to whomever or whatever that this thing is happening to me out of all the people in the world.
I had one of those moments when I met Jeff -- or shortly after I met him when we started realizing this is it. I spent the first half of my thirties bracing myself for the possibility that it may never happen, that I would have to spend my life alone and that would just be damn okay. And then after turning 35, when I had resolutely given up, I met Jeff. In the beginning, I didn't even want to let myself believe that it could happen even as it was happening because I didn't want to jinx what I secretly wanted so desperately. It felt too good to be true, and I feared that life would smack me down for being so presumptuous or greedy if I let myself want too much. But when it finally did happen, I still couldn't believe it, at least not right away, and I had, and I still have, a lot of those moments when I marvel that this really is my life.
Well, I had another one of those moments this week, and I'm almost afraid to write about it. A part of me can't believe it even though nothing has really happened, at least not in an actualized kind of way. But it's keeping me up at night, the kind of night when you close your eyes with determination and try to will yourself into clearing your mind of all the thoughts and voices creating a racket in there even though you know they will overpower you.
But there is this spark, this inkling of possibility, that this could be the beginning of something I've been waiting for my whole life... That's what I tasted when I saw an email pop up in my gmail inbox earlier this week. The sent column listed a name I had never seen before. It had an innocuous re line: "Book." And when I glimpsed the first line before I double clicked on my mouse, it had the usual beginning: "Dear Shinyung."
When I opened it, curious to see who this was, I found myself reading and re-reading its five sentences over and over again. Then I sent it to my husband to make sure I had read it correctly. Then I sat frozen for a few minutes. Then I read it again.
This email was from a literary agent. She had read my blog and wanted to talk about a possible book project. A book, a book --- me, an author?? People all over the world dream of writing books, and how many people have manuscripts sitting there waiting to be read by a literary agent? And here is this woman contacting me from one of these established literary agencies, and she wants to know if I want to write a book.
One part of me says, oh, this is just a soap bubble. It'll burst, so don't get so worked up. And you haven't even written a word apart from this blog. And even when you write it, you still have to get a book deal, dummy. Besides, what do you really have to say that's worth saying that someone hasn't already said?
And the other part of me says, oh, my gosh, this could be it. This is what I would have dreamed of had I let myself dream this big. And who's to say which direction my future has to take? If others can do it, why not me?
So I ran out yesterday, invested in a copy of Dummies Guide to Getting Your Book Published, picked up some books on how to write along with some of my favorite authors that I had lost along the way of doing my legal thing, and plunked down $57.83 at Border's in Union Square. I want to bathe in them so that they permeate through my pores, cleanse the clutter inside, and work their magic.