Those people in the background have NO IDEA we are actually taking THEIR picture. We’re like NINJA paparazzi! Mwahahaaaaaaaaaa. (This peektur was taken on Sunday at Olcott Beach~ <3)
Every year on my birthday, since I was a very little girl, I have written myself a letter. When I turned fifteen and began to blog in earnest, I wrote the letter and put it online. It was a very real, very honest and vulnerable message to myself–the myself of the following year.
I’ve known I was supposed to be a writer since I was a kid–it is such a deeply ingrained part of me and my spirit and path that I’ve really known nothing else that strongly from such a young age. Every year, my birthday letter was hopeful, but a little hard on myself, too. “You didn’t get published this past year–try harder, work harder. This coming year, you can do it!” What was sad, and a little silly, is that I never tried to get published. I kept writing and putting my books in drawers and my stories under the sofa, but I never put them out there.
You know…until this past year.
For the first time in my life, the following letter has nothing to do with what I have not accomplished, with what I must do, filled with frustrations at my failings or my personal hopes and wishes. For the first time in my entire life, on my birthday, I can look back at the past year and be proud and triumphant and jubilant, because–for the first time, but not the last, I can say, voice ringing: I did it. I can’t articulate to you how much that means, that I’m living the dream I’ve waited for my entire life because I stopped waiting, because I actually did something, because I couldn’t wait anymore, I had to do what I was compelled to do, what I dreamed I could do, what I wanted, more than anything.
…so, I simply leave you with the letter.
I don’t know what happened this past year. I could never explain the set of circumstances that made it different, the actions and consequences and long, singular moments when you looked up and thought “I can do this.” What made it unique from the line of years that came before it, because–to anyone else–it looked the same from the outside. But it wasn’t.
All those letters, Sarah. All those moments of yearning, of hoping…all those moments of being disappointed in yourself, of putting your head in your hands because you were so frustrated at yourself, because of yourself, through yourself. I absolve you of those. They no longer matter.
Doesn’t that feel good? Let’s linger there a moment.
They. No. Longer. Matter.
They never did.
You rose up when you decided you had enough. You could not have arrived at that decision any sooner, it came when it was supposed to. That’s the thing you forgot, I forgot. It no longer matters.
I’m here. I’m where I belong. I no longer belong to the past, to those lost moments, I no longer belong to that far distant future where I’ve done what I was meant to do.
I’m here. I’m now. I’m doing it.
I wrote a book. It’s called The Dark Wife, and I love it fiercely. I was called to write it, and I put my entire heart into it, and then I stood with it in my hands, and I said: it’s time.
There was no clash of cymbals, no clouds parting, no gods stepping down to the earth before me to hand me a note and say “good job!” There was no delineation between the Sarah-who-would-someday-actually-be-an-author and the Sarah-who-actually-was-one.
There was simply, suddenly, the realization that I could.
It sounds so simple, right? There’s no mention of the hours and days and weeks and months and years of my life leading up to that moment. There’s no mention of all of the novels I’ve written before, all of the plans I have now, all of the stories I want to put out into the world, all of the stories I want to tell and share and everything, after all, is a story, and I’m finally doing what I was meant to do…there’s no mention of that glorious jumble and tangle of life that brought me here.
But I’m here. And that, alone, is what matters.
Today, I turn twenty-seven. Ten years ago, my letter said: “I’m seventeen. I’m getting published.”
It took ten years, it took more than ten years–it took twenty years (from my earliest rememberings, it’s all I wanted). But the years are what built me and brought me and bore me to here and now and this singular, glorious moment.
I don’t know what this year is going to bring for you, myself. But you begin it as you only ever dreamed you could–a book, novella and short stories published, novellas and novels lining up to come out, totally and vibrantly yourself, exactly as you were meant to be.
You are a writer. You are an author. You are twenty-seven.
You’ve done it.
All my love–here’s to a brilliant year.
And, last but not least, it’s some serious time for thank you’s.
Yes, I’m a published author. Yes, I’m living my dream. Yes, it took some tremendous hard work to get here, but it would all be for absolute nothing if no one read my books. And they do, you do. Every single day, my books are purchased and that enables me to continue living my dream. “Thank you” seems so inadequate–but thank you, thank you, thank you~
It’s my birthday. If you’re like “happy birthday, Sarah! :D” and want to celebrate it with me, further, the single happiest thing you could do is talk about my books, share about my books, tweet about my books, maybe consider buying an extra copy for a friend, or one for yourself if you haven’t. You are so appreciated and loved.
Today, on my birthday, I celebrate myself and what I have accomplished–and I celebrate you for wanting the stories I have to tell.
Thank you forever. ❤