I had a surprise left at my front door this morning. I looked at the package for awhile, shook it, and wondered what it could be. Who it was from. Or if I'd ordered something on amazon.com and forgotten about it (wouldn't be the first time).
Inside the box was this:
My fluffy Penguinlet was sent by my best friend from age 5, Katie. What was really profound about this oh-so-joyful and perfect surprise is that Katie lives in Madison and so she hasn't been around to see my twirling and chirping "I'm a Penguin! I'm a Penguin!" up and down the streets of Minneapolis since I got the offer.
But she knew. She always knows.
Katie understands why I need to write. She was there for the earliest scribblings. And she always believed in me. She still does.
Being truly known by another person is one of life's greatest delights; to be believed in when you no longer believe in yourself is what makes the journey possible. From my brother's assurance when my book went on submission, "Your book will sell, I have no doubt. There is no question of whether or not it will sell," to the constant response I received when I admitted I wanted to become a novelist, "Well of course. You've always been a writer. That's what you do." (And this coming from folks who haven't had regular contact with me since I graduated from high school!)
When my dream came true of going from aspiring author to author with a two-book deal I was greeted by the hugs and screeches of happiness from my family and friends.
Their elation made my own shine even brighter.
Sharing the excitement has been the highlight of this crossroads because the people who have been supporting me from the beginning are those who truly know what a victory it is. How long it has been a dream and how much it means to begin living it.
Thank you to everyone for believing, for knowing, for celebrating. This is only the beginning!