Publishing your first book is a pretty big milestone. Or at least it was for me. After more than 6 years of snatching moments here, there, and everywhere, and more than a year of editing the final manuscript, it suddenly happened. In fact, it happened at 7 am on a very cold but bright Saturday morning in February. Despite the fact that the publisher had said a few days before I would see it live online, perhaps even a week, I turned on the computer to check my diary and there it was. I was in my usual Saturday morning attire- yoga pants and a ginormous long sleeved t-shirt with a drawing of elephants and the words 'Tribe' on it. It's a favorite, super soft and worn, big enough to cuddle up in and not so precious I can't risk a drip of morning coffee. I hadn't even made the coffee, to be fair. I was barely awake. And for a moment, I thought I might be dreaming.
I cannot tell you how unprepared I was for the moment. I stood up from my chair at the desk and looked around. No one. I knew that, but still I looked. Isn't that what we do when the big moments come? We immediately want someone to share it with. But I live alone these days. No pup, not even a cat. There are of course, the three houseplants with whom I will admit to sharing several confessions and a few conversations a week. They don't answer of course, but they don't die and they bloom a lot which tells you something. At least I think so.
Anyway, back to my moment. My achievement. I thought after pacing kind of excitedly through the flat a few times, "Why, I'll call someone!" But most, if not nearly all of my someone's who would want to hear this news were asleep in the middle of the night in America. I considered the bottle of Prosecco waiting patiently in my tiny fridge. I did. I promise. But then I thought, wouldn't it be worse to get a little fizzy and then be alone with my big news? So I nixed that plan.
Instead I sat, snug in my tribe shirt, warm socks and huge smile that would turn out to stick to my face for days. Weeks. And I realized that when the big moments come, the dream come true moments, it doesn't matter one whit where you are. Or who you are with, or who you can call. It's all the same if you just settle in and let yourself feel the whole beautiful thing of doing something that is rather quite amazing. Even if the book is not everyone's everything, or anyone's anything. It's somewhere near 85 thousand words put together in chapters of laughter, tears, ache and survival. And it's a mountain you climbed all alone. And so when the moment comes and you have reached the top, wearing yoga pants and an elephant t-shirt, it's enough to just be there. Just as you are. Worthy. Enough. And happier than you knew you could be.