Hi Precious Monks.
Tomorrow is going to be a BIG DAY for US. Tomorrow a press release will go out to the Wonderful World announcing our partnership with a ridiculously amazing publisher whose name I will finally be able to share with you. Our book, along with its title, release date, and peeks into the content will be in the press release. YOU will be in the release. The magic of YOU, the magic of this community is at the heart of the release and will be at the heart of our book.
I know we think we’ve already exploded, but I’m afraid not. You should get ready to see yourselves, The Monkees, all over the damn place, starting tomorrow.
Now. Here’s what I think we need to talk about pre-circus. While everything changes, nothing is going to change. We are going to be the same group of people telling each other the truth and trying very hard not to be jerks. Our group might get bigger and some people might not follow our rules, but we have had enough practice to handle that. We’ve got that. The timing is good. The people that don’t yet follow our rules are the people who desperately need us to keep following our rules.
Everyone is invited.
Treat others how you want to be treated.
Love and self-control can overcome differences.
Be truthful, gentle, and fearless.
Here’s another thing that is important for you to know. To my great distress, neither the book contract nor the media attention have changed me A BIT.
You know how when you’re little, you look at grown- ups and you can’t wait to “become” one? Like grown-upedness is something that one day just “happens” to you. As if one day you’re a confused kid and all of a sudden, maybe when you’re like twenty five or so – someone hands you the keys to adulthood and bippety boppity boo! You Cross Over to the Other Side. The Grown Up Side. Where you know everything and calm down and stop being so damn insecure and jealous and nervous all the time. You are Now A Grown Up. Like a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Complete metamorphosis. Done. Fly.
But in my experience there’s been no bippity boppity boo metamorphosis moment EVER. I never became a grown up, really. I just kept having birthdays and became an older version of my own self. No magic box, no keys, no secrets. Just me. Five steps forward and four steps back. Trying, failing, trying again. Feeling like an imposter at parent teacher conferences and dental exams. Is this teacher talking to me? Am I seriously the MOTHER in this scenario? You’ve got to be kidding me. Still insecure, never calm. Maybe a little wiser each day? God, I hope so. Biggest changes I’ve noticed are a greater need for naps and botox.
Here’s where I’m going with this: I thought when I hit the big time with my writing – when I got a big book contract, when fancy people told me I was good, when I started getting recognized and talked about behind my back that I Would Be Different. Bippity Boppity Boo! Author. BAM! That someone would place that Title upon my head like a Tiara and I would finally feel as if I had arrived. I would finally realize that All Was Well and I would find that elusive self-confidence and peace and PHEW. That with a little recognition and official validation, I would become a different person. Metamorphosis. Long ago I would have told you that I knew that wasn’t true, St Anne PROMISED me it wasn’t true in Bird by Bird . . . . but deep down I still thought it was. I thought THAT’s what I needed. All my other problems would melt away like Cinderella’s tattered clothes.
Grown Up. BAM. Mother BAM. Author BAM.
Listen. No BAMS. It’s not true. I am still the same damn person, full of insecurities (maybe more) and anxiety (definitely more) and tons of guilt and insanity. And love and joy.
I’ve been writing some pretty heavy (and funny) new stuff for the book and all of this going even deeper is hard on me and my marriage. It’s like intense therapy with no therapist there with me. It’s like opening Pandora’s box. Exactly like that. Dangerous. There is no end to it. And I think you have to open that box if you’re a writer, but if you are not a writer I really recommend just upping your meds and keeping Pandora’s box SHUT NICE AND TIGHT when it comes to your relationships and your own psyche. I have done both, for the record. Opened and Upped. And hired an individual therapist in addition to a marital one. It’s getting hot up in here.
And I’ve become a full-tile working mom. With a babysitter here with us all day. I need to think of a good title for Sarah because babysitter is NOT the right word, since she’s a professional and because she’s becoming part of our family. And I don’t like nanny because it feels fancy and we are not fancy. Sarah is a dream, and even so, it’s been a hard transition for us. My kids are confused, and they cry for me a lot. I am every other mother who has transitioned back to work. Full of confusion, guilt, and sadness. And relief tinged with ecstasy.
When I was finishing my book proposal- both of my little girls had a viscous flu. My parents were here to help, but the girls wanted ME. And I was on a deadline. So the three of us stayed up in my bedroom all day, and I’d finish a sentence and run over to hold back Tish’s hair while she threw up. Then I’d run downstairs, clean out the pan, run back upstairs, finish another sentence, and run to Amma to hold back her hair while she puked. Then I’d rub her back while she cried and think . . . how long do I have to hold her? I need to get back to the computer. Is this long enough??? Glamorous and endearing stuff, working and momming.
And even when there IS glamour, there are problems. Sister and I spent a weekend in a very fancy hotel in New York City recently, meeting with ten of the biggest publishers in the biz. They all wanted our book. We met with amazing people, ate at incredible restaurants, spent a lot of time being told how wonderful we were, and had organic juice smoothies delivered to our hotel room each morning. It was time outside of time. After the first few hours, I became convinced that I was as wonderful as everyone was telling me I was. This is dangerous territory. You must never believe anyone who tells you that you are AMAZINGLY PERFECT or you’re HORRIBLY TERRIBLE. We are all somewhere in the middle. But I forgot this rule, and as we were leaving one swanky New York restaurant, the elegant host nodded and said “Congratulations and Good Luck, Ma’am.” I smiled demurely and said , “Oh. Thank you. Yes.” When we stepped outside I tackled Sister and said OH MY GOD! Even the WAITERS know about us!” And sister said, “Glennon, he was talking to the pregnant lady behind you.”
Still. It was like that. I was kind of famous for a weekend, if only in my own head.
But when I got on the train to come home, I checked my phone and saw that I had several urgent texts from friends. My kids had missed three birthday parties that weekend. Craig and I had crossed wires, and I let down some good friends that weekend. We just didn’t show up for their kids. Because, you know, I was in New York being fancy. The whole way home from that life changing weekend I felt like crap. I carried that pit in my stomach- the one that says- you can’t do it all. You just can’t. Not all at once, at least.
And that’s okay. That’s okay. We don’t have to do it all at once. The head knows that, but the heart is a jerk and a half.
Anyway. I do have a couple points here.
My first point is that I am afraid there is no one thing For Which We Are Waiting That Is Going Make Things All Better. One day we will get that thing we thought would fix everything (we will get married, we will have that baby, we will land that job, lose those twenty pounds) and we will find that we are still ourselves. Wherever we go, there we are. Maddening. Here’s one of my favorite worksheets of Chase’s. I think he had this concept down in second grade.
“You should just enjoy your life the way it is, because it’s not gonna get any better.”
At first it’s kinda depressing. But then it’s freeing, really. Something about deciding to be happy NOW. THIS is the DAY, not one in the future. Something like that. Whatever. I’m going to yoga in an hour and this strange concept makes sense to me there.
My second point is that some amazing things are going to come our way soon. But really, to me, all the important things have already happened on this blog. This extra stuff is just icing on the cake.
And this blog will NOT become a chronicle of our rise to success. It will still be me, trying to make sense of things behind the scenes- trying to be a mom and a worker and a wife and a friend and a Monkee. And you, trying to do all the same or different things.
Dear G to the O to the D –
Let the waves swell, let the storms come, let the rain pour and let our Monkee boat remain steady.