Wow, thank you so much for all the lovely comments yesterday. It was a good day and with your encouragement I let myself be properly happy.
Every time a ‘Who do you think you are?, this is all going to go wrong, you shouldn’t have told people’ voice came into my head I told myself that this is an old pattern of thinking and that it’s not being big-headed to celebrate and share good news.
In our house the worst thing you could ever be is ‘full of yourself’ (a very Irish thing) but while modesty is charming to a point, if we don’t celebrate the good stuff, what is the point of life? The other oft-repeated phrase in our house was ‘Pride goes before a fall….’ so I always associate rare moments of being proud with the dread that something bad is going to happen. But apparently that’s normal.
I wrote a bit about this yesterday but Brene says that one of the most terrifying emotions we have is joy.
She says: ‘How many of us have thought, “Work’s going well. Good relationship with my partner. Holy crap, something bad’s going to happen.” So what is that? It’s when we lose our tolerance for vulnerability. It’s when joy becomes foreboding. We think, “I’m not gonna soften into this moment because I’m scared it’s going to be taken away. We dress rehearse tragedy to beat vulnerability to the punch.’
I have news! Really exciting news. The piece of paper I am holding in my hands is not a bill, nor a bank statement… it’s the contract for a BRAZILIAN BOOK DEAL. Yes, a BRAZILIAN BOOK DEAL. Shall I say it again, in CAPITALS?! OK, I won’t.
This little baby dropped through the letter box at around 11am. The contact is for ‘a literary work entitled “Help Me!” by Marianne Power (‘hereinafter called ‘the Work’).’ It’s me! And I have ‘a literary work’. It’s so weird, wonderful and bloody random, I can’t quite believe it.
Some of you might remember the post I did about not going ahead with a UK book deal (http://helpmeblog.net/2014/06/27/say-fk-it-to-a-book-deal/). At the end of it I mentioned that a publisher in Brazil had expressed interest but I didn’t quite believe it. Even when a contract arrived in May for me to sign, I didn’t believe it because the Brazilian book lords hadn’t counter-signed.
First a confession: I am typing this from a coffee shop. I know, I know… I vowed never to darken the door of a coffee shop again until I was out of my financial hole but the truth is I’m 36, single and seem to be making a full time occupation out of analysing my feelings at the kitchen table. If I don’t step out into the real world at least occasionally, I’m going to lose the plot.
So yes, I’m in a coffee shop but I’ve been pretty good over the last few week in that (a) I’ve been doing a lot of paid work and (b) this is my first coffee outing in a week, (c) I’m very aware that the coffee I’m now drinking now costs 2.50 which is why (d) I’m not going to spend the 3.50 on the plum tart that’s winking at me. The little flirt.
A couple of months ago I said F**K It to something quite major and I didn’t tell you about it because I worried I’d made a big mistake. I was worried that it was a sure sign that self-help had made me crazy.
In April I was offered a book deal and I turned it down.
I was offered something that I’ve dreamt of my whole life and said ‘No, thanks.’