This happens to everyone, yes? That’s right, you’re reading or scanning Twitter or some such and this dream flies into your head of what might be.
Mine? That Neil Gaiman read my book and thought it was so great that I got to hang out with him and Amanda Palmer.
This is them on New Year’s Eve, from Amanda’s blog, from whence I obtained this great pic. I’ve been following Neil on Twitter and I feel like I like him so much. I started paying more attention to him around the time I wrote this post. He and Amanda have been publicly involved since midsummer. At one point, around this concert he tweeted something along the lines of “I’m making tea and Amanda is dancing in her scanties. we call this division of labor.”
I have a total crush on both of them.
I know, I know — it’s the false intimacy of the internet. In person they might be shallow and self-absorbed. Probably three days after I write this, we’ll hear some UK tabloid screaming that AFP has been dragged off to rehab and we’ll see a bedraggled Gaimain looking gaunt and haunted as he sorts out his finances.
But it was a bit of a revelation to me, because I’ve been sorting through why I want literary success so much. Forgive me for belaboring, since I suspect I’ve run through this particular soul-search on here before.
I count my blessings: I have a great life, a terrific loving relationship with a wonderful man; I have family and friends who love and support me; I have a career I enjoy, with fabulous colleagues and the best boss ever (and I’m not saying that just because I know she reads this) that pays me well enough for the man and I to have a lovely lifestyle; we have a gorgeous house in a beautiful place; I enjoy terrific health and I feel good about how I look. I want for nothing, really. I am happy. I see people struggling with dire health issues, with dysfunctional families, straining to make it economically and I count my blessings. I should be satisfied.
And yet, I’m not.
I have this wanting that claws at me. Sometimes it feels like it’s at the back of my throat, as if I’m longing to speak. Like spiders of yearning wiggling around in my chest.
I want that book contract.
It’s not validation as a writer that I need. I’ve got that with the essay collection, which makes me luckier than many writers. More money would be nice, but it’s not a huge consideration. Do I want fame, celebrity? I’ve never had much desire to be a rock star and I’m not hugely social, so I don’t think so.
I think I just want to get to hang with the cool kids. Maybe it always comes back to that.
Or maybe this is what it feels like when you’ve got the pyramid of needs handled. If I review my list of blessings, I’ve got the Physiological, Safety, Love/Belonging and Esteem going. Now I should be all about the morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving….wait! This is the pinnacle? Acceptance of facts??? This is my reward for getting my shit together?
Hell, no wonder I just want to hang with Neil and Amanda!