I had a great day Friday.
She plunges under her desk and waits for lightening to strike after writing that sentence. The Billy Club of Destiny? It is out there, this minute, being smacked against a meaty palm in steady, deliberate, warm-up strokes. She just knows it. It can't find her under here...can it? Wait. What the... It smells like poop down here. DAMN that Tallulah. She climbs back into her chair. Resumes typing.
Through a set of circumstances that link my work taking photos at Barbecue on the River that included a shot of a certain prominent someone who then later found himself, quite unexpectedly, in need of this particular photo and found me coordinating an event that I felt would benefit from a logical sponsor for its central prize...well.
Let's just say the whole situation ended up with everyone feeling very, very fortunate indeed.
And if you're asking yourself whatever happened to the Suzanne who didn't mix work and blogging, you can join the club. I suppose when I made that rule I didn't envision doing work that was quite so rewarding. And, heck, I'll admit it, just plain old fun. Looking back, I realize the rule was made at a time and place when my work was quite the opposite.
Many of the readers I have now (probably around a third) were with me in those days, back when I just up and quit and embarked on the odyssey that has lead me here. The odyssey that is ongoing. The chapter of my professional life where, instead remaining in steerage, seasick and storm tossed (and nowhere NEAR Leonardo Di Caprio), I climbed up to the deck, wobbled across it, and grabbed hold of the helm for myself.
As it turned out? I would maneuver my little ship out of the storm and head straight toward Vacation Island. A peaceful little spot with a palm tree and a wireless internet connection where I spent six months blogging away and, for the first time in 25 years, for the most part, absolutely not working. It was difficult, but I somehow managed to survive it. (Ahem.)
It is here that I finally owned up to it: I am a writer. Writing is what fulfills me as a person, is probably the "highest and best" use of my talents, and if I'm to be happy, is a thing I need to be working at it in some form or fashion. You would think this a simple truth, maybe even an obvious one, and something that would have been sooner and more easily grasped. Especially since someone has been telling me as much, basically, all my life. And then someone I married told me as much over and over.
But it wasn't easy, oh, it so wasn't.
The good news? Is that while I spent the first part of my life in the dark about who I am, some would say ridiculously and needlessly so, the good news is that with that simple realization, or more like "shift" in my consciousness, everything began to change.
I don't mean I got published and became wealthy and lived happily ever after. It's something like this: confident, finally, in the work I was ultimately meant to do, what I do for a living started to come more easily to me.
Maybe because the pressure to define me is no longer on it. At my core, I know, I am a writer. And I now see everyting I do through this filter. I believe the work I do to support myself now comes to me more easily as a direct result of me coming to terms with this basic truth about myself. It has given me power. It has made me more effective. It has freed up a great deal of my energy for other things. Sometimes? I even get paid to write.
Recently, I went to the funeral of a ninety-nine-year-old man. His name was Falgar. He was a farmer and lived on the same plot of land that had been in his family since the mid 1800's. He lived in a simple small house and worked his fields, he raised chickens, he worked his garden, he went to church. At some point, it was realized that his land likely held oil. And a great deal of it at that. And so, an oil well was erected and the drilling began. And in not too long, the oil came in.
It came in very, very big.
It came in so big that it was almost unbelievable. Falgar was netting crazy amounts of thousands of dollars per day. And this went on for years. Falgar became a millionaire. And still, Falgar worked his fields, he raised chickens, he rode his tractor and planted his garden. He went to church, he lived in his small, simple house, he shared the fruits of his garden with his neighbors.
Because Falgar had been a millionaire all along.
Falgar had lived the life he was meant to live from the very beginning. He knew, without a doubt, who he was and where he wanted to be. His son loved him, his grandchildren loved him. He radiated goodness. He was a wonderful neighbor. I knew him because he was my Grandma's significant other for eleven years.
And I sincerely hope I am headed in that direction.
Because that, friends, is success.