Humility and Thanks

The last two weeks have been pretty bad. Physically, the last five months have caught up to me. I’ve been sick, in incredible physical pain, and lethargic. Work tensions are escalating again, leaving me cornered with nothing to do but show teeth that I try not to have to show. As much as I try to keep a low profile at work, and not rub people the wrong way, it really pisses me off when people go out of their way to be offended by me.

So yeah, I’ve been a little negative this week. Until I realized, this morning, how lucky I really am. I should say, realized again, because this is a realization that’s never been very far from my mind.

I started listing the stuff I need to do on my weekend. Drive to Durham for a launch party. Draft a short story for an awesome contest. Write a dozen critiques. Reply to an email about convention plans. Reply to emails from friends and business stuff. Read slush. Draft announcements for Little Death. Draft acceptances for Little Death. Start planning for the first issue of Little Death. Look over the changes to one of my Aether Age stories. Run errands to get CDs, headphones, art stuff. Fold laundry. Make jewelry. Finish Nightmare.

Why am I so grateful for things like running errands and replying to emails? Because I’m doing what I want to do. I’m doing it because I need to, not because I have to. I get to travel, I get to read, I get to write. I don’t have to look over my shoulder while I write, I don’t have to try and hide my books. I don’t worry that communications with my friends will suddenly be cut off.

The day I turned 18, I moved out and told my grandparents that I wouldn’t be back. Before that, I had to hide books under the dresser, in the corners of the barn where they didn’t go, at my mom’s place. If I wanted to go see a movie, I had to not only lie about where I was, but carefully cover my tracks so that I wouldn’t get caught if someone checked up.

I had a rebellious period…because I wanted to see Lord of the Rings, read fantasy, and have friends.

Now, I sit at a desk covered with dragons and horror, research books on magic, diagrams of spells for the Shadow and Soul series, notes to myself about travel or supplies. I have a job, and if I lose that job, it’s because of something I’ve done, not because of family circumstances. I can commit to events, to coffee with friends. I am my own master. If I don’t meet my deadlines, I have only myself to blame.

I don’t get paid for much of what I do at home. Writing isn’t for the money. It’s because I can. I’m sincerely grateful to be able to spend an hour with my headphones on, writing. Because in the old days, I’d have had one headphone off so that I could hear someone coming to check up on me, and I’d have to be ready to shut everything down.

Freedom is an intoxicating thing, and really, freedom is the only reward that I need right now.


One Response to “Humility and Thanks”

  1. That is great to hear that you have found freedom in your life. Sometimes it takes a while to figure it all out. It took me a while.

    Spread your wings hon. Soar because the only one holding you back now, is you.

    Fly high

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