The other night I took a call from an editor at The New York Times to talk about an essay of mine he wanted to publish.
That’s a sentence that I can barely comprehend, in the sense that it relates to my actual life right now. I mean, it’s a sentence I think I’d hoped to write someday, but hope was another planet.
And I’m a few days away from launching myself into a new job that has the potential, paycheck-wise, to change my life in the ways I’ve wanted to change it for years.
I don’t think I’ve ever lived a day where my head wasn’t thrumming with the constant low mumble of money worries. Maybe a short time when I was married, with a double-income household more or less managed by my ex. But that was five years ago, and in the time since, I’ve cursed more times than I can count at the negative balance in my checking account.
So things could change. Or I could fail. The job is a big risk, for reasons I don’t want to go into. It could work, or I could fall short. But in any event, as these words clearly show, I’m not so skilled at celebrating. I’m better at doubting my worth, feeling, on the eve of a big publication, like a fraud.
This isn’t a cry for help. It’s just an old familiar song, Muzak-style, playing nonstop in this elevator as I rise from the burned-out bottom floor I’d long called home. It’s stuck on repeat, but it plays in the head of a dude who’s too stubborn to let it stop this ride. Let’s see where this goes.