Last Wednesday, my local Grocery Outlet held one of its rare 20% off wine sales. For me, this is like Christmas, bacon-wrapped scallops, and an orgasm all rolled into one.
I filled two six-bottle holders with my favorite Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and trudged proudly back to my car. Once there, I opened the back door and strapped the wine into the kiddie booster chair occupying my backseat.
"Best wine holder EVER," I thought to myself.
Then I considered how bizarre that was.
If you'd told me a year ago there would someday be a child's car seat in my vehicle, I would have asked about the length of your furlough from the mental institution. The idea that I'd not only be dating someone seriously, but dating someone with children was about as likely as the odds I'd give up romance writing to become a nuclear physicist.
But here I am now, ridiculously happy with the new direction my life has taken.
It got me thinking about other things I never imagined myself thinking or feeling one year ago. Last March, I was still five months away from having any books released. Now I look at Amazon and see Making Waves, Getting Dumped, and Believe it or Not lined up in a pretty little row. While that's a joyful feeling an I'm eternally grateful to have reached this point in my career, one thing I didn't expect to feel is terror.
Terror that I won't be able to keep up the pace or that I'll run out of ideas or that a ninja wombat will chew off all my fingers and I won't be able to type anymore. I'm coping fine, and there are certainly worse hangups to have, but the feelings are unexpected nonetheless.
If I go back two years instead of one, I see myself sitting here at my desk during that funny window of time when I wound up with a brand new three-book romantic comedy deal only a few weeks after I got laid off from my marketing job. At that point, I hoped there might be some way to avoid ever going back to a regular day job. I imagined myself as a full-time novelist eating bon-bons and typing at a feverish pace as my shirtless cabana boy mopped my brow and fed me frozen grapes.
Fast forward two years to today, I can't imagine myself without my part-time day job doing marketing and PR for my city's tourism bureau. I love my job, and can honestly say I'd consider doing it even if no one paid me. Certainly not something I thought I'd say before I discovered what a cranky, listless, unimaginative beast I am if I don't drag my introverted writer butt out of the house to interact with humans at least three days a week.
Do you ever play this game with yourself? Are there things in your life right now that you never imagined yourself saying, thinking, or feeling just a year or two ago? Please share!
And then let's all raise a toast to change with a glass of safely-transported Sauvignon Blanc. Cheers!