Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why I’m thankful to be wrong

Not long ago, a friend shared that during bouts of insomnia, she counts her blessings until she either falls asleep or wakes her husband to indulge in naked blessings.

I like both ideas a lot, and I’ve been thinking about them more as Thanksgiving approaches. It’s easy to be thankful for the things we wished for that turned out exactly the way we wanted.

But sometimes, the things I’m most grateful for are the ones that didn’t go my way – those instances where I hoped with all my might for life to unfold a certain way, and the great puppet-master of the universe shook her head and said, “bitch, you don’t have a clue.”

For instance:

  • I’m so glad the first book I sold in 2005 wasn’t released after the line was canceled a month before my scheduled debut (go here if you don’t know the story). I couldn’t have known then, but the romantic comedies I wrote in the following years were much stronger books, and more true to my natural voice. As a result, Making Waves got to sit on the shelves in August as my real debut.
  • I’m thankful that when faced with a choice between four amazing agents in 2006, I chose wrong. Had I not spent a year represented by an agent who wasn’t the right fit, I’m not sure I would have recognized how amazing Michelle Wolfson is, or how lucky I am to have spent the last four years as her client.
  • I’m so grateful that my many months of pleading, cajoling, hoping, wishing, threatening, crying, and couples counseling didn’t save my 13-year marriage. How else could I have discovered this whole new realm of happiness and fulfillment?
  • I’m thankful that in the weeks after my ex moved out, friends and family ignored my stoic declarations that I was fine on my own. Their constant hovering took many forms, from ladies’ nights to dinner invitations to impromptu phone calls to heartfelt emails and blog comments. The support I didn’t realize I craved turned out to be exactly what I needed to pull me through that dark time.
  • I’m thankful that when I sent a “hi, remember me?” email to a long-ago coworker who’d gone through a similar divorce, he did remember. And he not only agreed to share the wisdom of his own divorce experience, but refrained from questioning my sanity when I proposed a businesslike friends-with-benefits arrangement. But most of all, I’m grateful we both discovered quickly there’s a whole lot more to our connection. If not for the unexpected detours in both of our lives, we would never have ended up right here, right now.

And right here, right now, is a place I’m damn glad to be.

Has your life taken any unexpected, unwanted turns that turned out to be exactly what you needed? Please share!

And please forgive the brief blog break I’m about to take. I’ll be traveling Thursday and Friday to be with family for Thanksgiving, but I promise to be back here bright and early Monday morning. Happy holidays, guys! I’m eternally thankful for YOU!


Anonymous said...

Aw. Happy Thanksgiving, Tawna. 2011 has been one hell of a year for you.

LynnRush said...

Great post. I have always believed we learn from experiencing things we didn't really WANT to experience. You know?
It's a time for growth.

Have a super Thanksgiving! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

Sarah W said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Tawna!

I'm thankful that I couldn't get a teaching job with my brand new teaching degree and that the new manager of the bookstore I worked for instead was such a rabid B%*&$ that I quit and went to library school.

And that we were so understaffed at my library that they assigned me three selection areas -- including romance!

Mary said...

That's an awesome post! So many things to be thankful for. I'm thankful for finding awesome writers like you; I'm thankful for all the awesome books out there to read; I'm thankful that I have a job, even if it's not really what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Patricia Eimer said...

Great post and happy Thanksgiving. I know exactly where you're coming from with being thankful for the things that didn't work. I have a ton of those in my life

Michelle Wolfson said...

Shockingly, I feel grateful for many things in my life right now too, but for here I'll say that I'm grateful to have you as a client and friend. I'm even grateful that you went somewhere else first--both for the appreciation factor (which you express so eloquently!) and also for giving me time to set up my own agency!!
I'm grateful for the exciting things on the horizon. And soooo excited for them.
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Danica Avet said...

Happy Thanksgiving. This post reminds me of that Garth Brooks song "Unanswered Prayers". Being thankful doesn't have to be just about the good because the "bad" helps shape us into the people we are.

Alexa O said...

Almost nothing I've ever planned has gone the way I wanted it to. Thank goodness!

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving!

Matthew MacNish said...

I can't thank the universe for the things it's allowed me to survive on the internet, but I will say my story isn't much like yours, and yet the results are pretty similar.

Glad to be right where I'm at.

Anonymous said...

Excerpt from blog post:

Relationship advice 101 – let them go.

Not so easy but very necessary. If someone significant in your life shows you, tells you or even indicates to you that they want to leave, let them go. If they don’t want to be with you, let them go.
I'm sure it was hard at the time, but here you are, thankful for the experiences you've gone through and the higher place where you've landed. Your inner strenght has brought you here.
You go, Girl. I know you do. Enjoy always and Happy Thanksgiving, T

Tina Moss said...

Wonderful post! If you would have spoken to me two years ago, I would've sworn that I'd be in a PhD program studying children's literature in Connecticut and still pursuing picture book publication.

I've never been more thankful NOT to have gotten into that particular PhD program. It made me take a hard look at the things I really wanted to be doing - like writing novels. Now, I'm here with an agent I love, my co-written urban fantasy on sub, and my single project about to go to my agent. I'm glad fate had other plans for me.

Rachel Firasek said...

Great post! I'm thankful that my husband went overseas three years ago, regardless of what everone told us about the choice. If he hadn't I wouldn't have been forced to become a stronger woman and I'd never have found writing again.

Meghan Ward said...

This is such a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it. When things don't work out the way I want them to, I do try to think of the flip side - what I could learn from the experience and what benefit there is to me not getting what I wanted. An example is when my engagement ring (I've been married five years) was stolen recently. I was sad, and I'm still a little sad about it, but it made me appreciate that I have my health, that my children are healthy, that we can afford to buy a new ring, and so many other things we have that are more important than gold and diamonds. This is the perfect day to reflect on all of those things! Have a great Thanksgiving, Tawna!

Kadi Easley said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Tawna!

Sierra Godfrey said...

I love this, Tawna, and I especially loved the last item on your list. Congrats. I'm REALLY happy for you!

As for me....I am so thankful I was laid off from my high-paying job at the beginning of this year when I was 7 months pregnant...I was given so many gifts as a result: time with my older boy, time at home with the baby, a refocus on what I want, and a really awesome freelance career. And, it has to be said, away from a place where I didn't know I was unhappy.

Crystal Posey said...

A very great post!

My most unexpected, and in the beginning unwanted, turn was my husband. On the surface, I should have ran, but something held and I am so glad. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

It's so hard to find good partnerships. Whether it be in intimacy or friendship or work or anything. I'm happy that in this area I'm apart of a kick ass team, THE POSEY TEAM!

I hope your thanksgiving was great!

Ali Trotta said...

I loved this post, Tawna!

I'm thankful for the many moves that were unexpected, but each held their own lessons and experiences. I'm thankful that I know how to love, but that I also have the wisdom to know that love sometimes (most of the time) makes us stupid. I'm thankful for the good friends I have and the bad ones I no longer speak to (their existence makes me appreciate the good ones that much more).

Great post. Very thought-provoking.

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