Friday, February 23, 2018

Happy problems

I noticed that woman, sitting alone under that picture, as if untouched by the clamor of the world around her, nourishing herself in a deeply meditative way.

The universe is abundant. You ask and it gives. I asked for new work after I submitted the three projects whose deadlines consumed the month of January, and the universe has encircled me with answers. Or not answers exactly, but possibilities. There is work on the horizon, as well as the revision round for the book I turned in (it's about gun violence, so you can imagine there is more to add given recent events) and I also have to rethink the target audience for a proposal. The thing is, my path forward is not clear.

Some things are a given: Yesterday an author I adore hired me to edit her two new books, and I will absolutely do that. On the other hand, a former boss of mine offered me a writing and editing gig for a website, and I'm not sure if I should take that on. Websites are hungry beasts. They demand to be fed 24/7, and they don't pay very well either. And yet, if there were nothing else on the horizon, how grateful I would be that this former boss of mine thinks well enough of my work to want me on her new team. I mean, I am grateful, but I'm confused, too, because the impulse is always to say yes to work, but if I do it will complicate other projects that are being dangled before me, which I am interested in taking on, but which may or may not work out.

And then there is the woman I met with this morning, who is looking for a full time acquisitions editor to work on the kinds of books I would absolutely love to shepherd into the world. I have no idea if I will actually be offered this job, but in this instance, I feel very clear: If she offers it to me, I will say yes. Even though it is full time and my time would no longer be my own. Even though I would have to pass on some intriguing ghostwriting projects that may or may not come to me, and even though I would have to figure out how to accomplish three book-editing jobs to which I have already said yes.

I also have no idea what the position pays, and the office (bright, light-filled, and loft like) is at the other end of the city from where I live so with my cab habit, the commute could be expensive. But it is also my dream job, one that presented itself out of the blue, because a woman I'd done some work with three years ago took it upon herself to tell the woman I met with this morning about me. So tell me dear universe: Having dropped this tantalizing possibility in my lap, how do I seal the deal? Could this be the work I'm supposed to do next?

Arrrgh! I'm so excited my breath is ragged. This is one of those moments when I absolutely understand the statement that sometimes excitement feels like fear. Except this isn't fear. It's anticipation. This is me, daring to hope, and that's terrifying, so yes, there's some fear I suppose. But at the very center of this churned up feeling is a kernel of peace: Truthfully, I just located it as I wrote these words. And what that peaceful place tells me is that if I'm supposed to do this job, join that publishing team, then it will happen. And if it doesn't, that will be fine, too. The key is to let go of excessive attachment to any one outcome, to let everything unfold.

Thanks for letting me share.


  1. I kind of chuckled when I read this because I thought, “Be careful what you wish for...” of course you’re getting all these offers! I know you will get the position you want. I feel it! Let me be the first to congratulate you! Joanne

  2. This is just amazing and wonderful and OH! I hope you are meant to get this job! It sounds to me as if it is really, truly the thing you want.

  3. I'm glad you found a little peace while writing this. How marvelous the universe is! I will be keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  4. How wonderful to have the thrill of possibilities! Best of luck :)

  5. Oh I do hope it works out for you.

  6. Wonderful! I am so happy for you.

  7. I am so delighted by how rich the future is for all directions, come what may... it is going to be grand. When I read your words I always wish I was still proofreading and editing, and engaging with the world in such a way. I can't wait to see how it all turns out!

  8. I'm so happy that so many opportunities have come your way. It seems to me that when we are faced with these kinds of choices, the one we choose always has wonderful lessons for us. I've no doubt you'll choose the one that teaches you the most.

  9. "This is me, daring to hope, and that's terrifying, so yes, there's some fear I suppose. But at the very center of this churned up feeling is a kernel of peace: Truthfully, I just located it as I wrote these words."

    Thank you so much for your insight into this process of finding the true center which allows us to let go of attachment to a particular outcome. Trusting.

  10. Whatever you choose will work out...Congratulations.


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