Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Friend's Soiree

I went to a BBQ. It was a loaded gun.
In a garage.
Families with plump babies, tearful toddlers, and school-aged kids riding bikes in the neighborhood.
A spread of veggies, chips, dip, cupcakes, buns, condiments.
A big guy grilling burgers next to a motorcycle as if the three (man, motorcycle, and grill) came in a set.
Conversation among party-goers is polite. Surface-y.
"How'd you meet?" "Your son is so big." "Where will you get married." "I remember when Cats opened."
I participate willingly. After all, not every conversation can be like Critical Theory class. Who would want it to be?
I don't expect to have to think much this weekend or at a get-together like this. It's your standard BBQ. It's not like anyone's gonna whip out a discourse on Libya... (Don't be fooled into thinking I'd be able to hold my own in that kind of conversation either.)
Which is why I gasp when one questions pierces through the rest. Stabs me in chest.

"What's next for you?"

Even though the question was innocent--TOTALLY innocent--my insecurities pick up on a connotation. An invention of my own panicky ambition.
The connotation says, "You aren't doing anything productive with your life. So get on it."
My mouth stumbles out a few goals and recent achievements, but I felt ambushed. Was there something about me that screamed, "You are one heel-click away from DEADBEAT"? Was I jealous b/c the questioneer had just announced that she was going to be submitting her thesis this week?
I dunno. I do know that the questioneer meant nothing by it, and that I tend to whig out too much over my own progression, success, and careers.
How do I know this? It's b/c I'm NOT in a static phase in my life. In fact, I can't remember a time that I ever was in a static phase...not since I left for college.
And at the risk of sounding resume-y, here's my evidence:

In college I published 4 short stories in 2 different journals.
I wrote for the UVU paper for a year.
I won 2nd place in a writing competition.
I've written 3 full length novels and published one as a Kindle before the age of 28.
For a year, I had my own bi-weekly book review column in a local paper.
I started a weight-loss blog, which after pitching to REDBOOK, landed me a feature in the May 2011 issue.
and I interviewed for and landed a job writing for one of the largest paper's in Utah.

In my education field:
I have a BS in English Ed.
I have a reading endorsement
I've been recognized with a couple of awards
I've gone to a handful of conferences

And most importantly, my family:
I have two great, healthy kids and an AWESOME husband.
My siblings are the coolest, and I love that my parents are nearby.
(I'd also like to add the BGW crew as surrogate family.)
I really am blessed.

So why is it that I felt like I'd been double-bounced on a trampoline when I heard that question?
Clearly, I've been working my butt off to further my careers and still actively maintain my "mom" role.
Haven't I done enough?

Nope. The fire in me burns freakishly bright.

What is next for me? Cuz it's not as if I'm stopping now.


  1. A book?!!? As soon as I get off this computer, I'm going to download the kindle app for my iphone and I'm buying it. Is it any good? Like, really? Because lately, I have a very short book attention span. I can't seem to get into a book, and I love reading.

    You are even more amazing than I thought.

  2. Thanks, Tex! You know, for a foul-mouthed, bad-ass BG, you are one of the nicest ppl I know.

    One-Armed Freak is YA fiction. I wrote it a couple of years ago, and have evolved a lot since then as a writer (I'm my own worst critic) so I dunno... The first few chapters are free if you wanna put a toe in the water first. Also, there's a link on my blog. There's a summary/blurb at the link. No hard feelings if it's not your cup of burbon.

    I'm thinking about writing a weight loss book next. whatcha think?

  3. You have done soooo much! Wow. I'm impressed. :)



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