My Dearest Katie,
I was going to call or write you an email about this, but we also need a new blog entry, so I thought I’d multitask and write you on the blog. (Plus, I’m too embarrassed to actually talk to you. I’d be crossing my fingers for your voice-mail and then be “unable to take your call” when you called me back.) The thing we both hear about our writing is that it’s real and honest and personal, right? So, I’m trying to be real and honest and personal in front of our 18 new email subscribers and the people who accidentally find us by searching for things like “Eeyore in the bathtub.” (Yes, that was a real search that led to this blog.)
Here’s the thing. Ever since you told me about your book deal, I’ve been experiencing something that I haven’t felt since maybe high school when my friend Susan was named Winter Formal Queen and I wasn’t even nominated to the court. (Seriously, is this something 21st-century high schools still do? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure us girls were marched into health class on Monday morning where we were told that self-esteem comes from the inside and then on Friday night the entire school watched as a pretty girl with great cleavage was awarded a tiara based on the esteemed opinion of the wrestling team. Yes, she was also a Very Nice Person, but not all of them are, you know.)
ANYWAY, what I’m trying to say is that when you told me that your incredibly wonderful agent found you an incredibly awesome book deal, I felt something very strange inside my chest-area, kind of near the organ that pumps blood. There was a sharp pain. Kind of a stinging. Also kind of like the wind had been knocked out of me. And it was so weird, because my brain was very happy for you. You are one of my best friends. You are like family, actually, like a sister or a closer-than-average cousin. I think you are one of the best writers I’ve ever read and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to know. And the fact that your book is coming out next fall just made my Christmas shopping a whole lot easier. I have cheered you on from the beginning, encouraged you when you needed it, and celebrated every time you nailed that perfect title or closing sentence.
So why the chest pain? Why is it difficult for me to look at that snapshot of your signed contract on facebook when 64 other people, who are clearly better friends, “like” it? Why have I not called you for a week?
I’m sorry, friend. I don’t really know the answer. Will it help you to know that I dedicated my yoga practice to you last Thursday? And I usually never do that because, frankly, I think it’s a little silly. (You know I’m not the sentimental/romantic/superstitious type.) And, technically, I guess I retroactively dedicated it to you, because I was late to class and missed the announcement that we were dedicating our practice to someone from whom we feel disconnected, but when the instructor reminded us at the end to remember that person, I thought, “Katie, those down-dogs were for you, girl.”
So, anyway, there. I’m jealous. And I hardly ever get jealous these days. I get happy and excited and sad and anxious and discouraged and angry and frustrated, but I hardly ever get jealous. The one time I can remember it in my adult life is when Chris and I were first dating and he left his gaze too long on another girl’s backside (cleaning up my language ’cause I know your dad reads this). But then she turned around and I was prettier than her, so I got over it quickly. This time, I’m not getting over it so fast. Maybe I won’t until I have an incredibly wonderful agent finding me an incredibly awesome book deal.
I’m doing what I can by letting you know. I’m not trying to fish for encouragement from our readers or break your good news for you. I just don’t want to run away from this uncomfortable feeling or act like I’m above it. I’m obviously not above it and I’m trying to sit with it and let it teach me what I need to learn about myself. I have spent a long time trying to run away from bad/negative/uncomfortable feelings. But they always find me. I can’t change something if I don’t even admit it’s there.
That’s all, Katie. I really am wildly happy for you and wildly jealous, all at the same time. I will call you soon.