07 October 2014

I have 28 Years

I like that way of describing age. It's probably just the novelty of it, but thinking of age in such a way makes me more conscious of my time.

I'm so happy with what I've done with my 28 years. I'm in a happy, loving marriage. I have two amazing kids, and I get to be home with them everyday. I life in a safe, warm place, and we drive a car we could afford to buy new and pay in full. I graduated college in three years and with honor. I got to live in a town voted by the Travel Channel to have the best beaches in America. I got to live in Chicago. I opened up an Etsy shop. I wrote a book. I think I'm strong and I even think I'm kind of pretty.

My childhood was a lonely and depressed one, and I remember thinking as a 12 and 13-year-old that I was never going to get married or do anything fun with my life. I remember thinking that since I had no dreams or goals that maybe I was suppose to die before I was an adult. I remember being in college and desperately wishing I had life stories to share with people. I wish I could tell that little girl that everything was going to be just fine. I wish I could tell her that she was going to be so very pleased and thankful.

Do you want to know what got me on the "I love my life bandwagon"? I heard back from the publisher about my book. Spoiler alert: they are not going to publish me.

But I can't talk about it without a huge, glowing grin because of the why. "The people in our marketing department say they do not want to take on another personal account related to Down syndrome at this time, as they feel they're struggling to get attention for the books we already have."

The editor wrote, "We all think you write very well" and that "you have a story that's worth telling." She said, "We admire your ability to express your thoughts and feelings so candidly and eloquently."

Is isn't that I'm not good enough. It isn't my writing or the length of my book. I write a dang good book, it's just that everyone who wants a book already has one.

It was hard to submit that book. I was really stepping out of my comfort zone - thinking about my life, my reflections, my vulnerability, and my growth in tangible, legible format for everyone to read. I wondered how people would respond, how the people I've parted ways with would respond. I wondered if some people who are near and dear to me would recognize the less-than-flattering depictions of themselves. I wondered if the girl who stopped being my friend because of Abigail would ever read it. If our mutual friends would recognize her.

Lots of things in the last 28 years where hard - taking college classes in high school and summer classes in college to graduate early, packing up everything I owned into essentially the space of a large walk-in closet and moving 1200 miles away from everyone and everything I'd ever known, giving birth after an emergency c-section and a miscarriage.

But it has all been so worth it.

I'm not necessarily happy with all the tiny details (living in an apartment and living in a rural town), but I'm so overwhelmingly in love with my 28 years as a whole.

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