And then Write Naked and Jennifer Probst came along. Through her words, through her guidance, she made it easy to pinpoint exactly what was wrong with my book. In the days since I finished reading her book I have gone through my original manuscript and finally—finally!—come up with a plan of action as how to re-write it… and re-write it well. Like it should have been in the first place.
There’s a lesson here: don’t rush!
And also: thank you, Jennifer Probst.
2. A few days before mother’s day I was clearing out a bag of things that my mother-in-law had sent home with us and I came across an envelope addressed to me. I didn’t think much of it and absentmindedly tore it open. Of course, then I realized: it was for mother’s day.
I don’t quite know what I expected. My mother-in-law has this way with cards; they always perfectly encapsulate the receiver. So, I knew it would be sweet.
I opened the card, read it, and burst into tears.
It said: “For you, daughter-in-law…Our family just wouldn’t be complete without you.”
I cried because I felt loved. I cried because I felt appreciated. But I also cried because had I not just been feeling overwhelmed by his family? By the sheer size? By how involved everyone is in each other’s lives and the way that can make me feel sometimes?
I cried because, for a moment, I didn’t feel worthy of their love.
3. I got to attend a last-minute wedding this week. Some family of my husbands’ were coming into town and decided they should finally get married. Everything came together pretty quickly. After the short ceremony at The Flamingo’s garden chapel, my husband, his sister and I were standing around talking, watching the photographer take photos of the happy couple and his sister said (about the bride), “She looks like a real woman.”
I knew exactly what she meant. I agreed wholeheartedly.
Days later, while driving to somewhere or home from somewhere, I brought it up again with Dom. “I don’t know what makes me look at her and think she’s a real woman. She’s in her thirties, she’s a mother, she has a real job, she’s married. I am all these things, but I don’t look at myself and think ‘now there’s a real woman’.”
Dom said, “one of my favorite ages, besides when I was around twenty-seven, was when I was your age (thirty-two).” And then he smiled reassuringly as he gave my knee a squeeze.
“As hard as it has been to admit that I’m in my thirties now, there is something to be said about how I feel now versus five years ago. I have my shit together more than I ever have before, so there’s that.”
Dom smiled again and said something I’ll have to remind myself of time and time again. “I think you’re a real woman. But it’s always hard for us to step outside of ourselves and be able to look at ourselves objectively like that.”