'Anything You Need'

There’s something that happens when I stand with my feet on gritty sand or warm, wave-smoothed rock and face the water rolling in, breaking on the shore. The wind and the mist and the beating sun wash away everything but that moment. For a brief speck of time, all of my wants and hopes and dreams go flying and I have everything I need.

I always try to capture that split second and hold it as long as I can. At the moment, I call on the memory quite a bit. When I’m looking at finances. Or seeking out byline opportunities. And most of all, when I’m looking to the future. For the first time in forever (yes, there’s an accidental Frozen reference in there), there’s nothing holding me still. 

Right now, I’m deliberately staying where I am—geographically speaking—to control as many variables as possible while I work toward my MFA and crank through as much of my book as I can. Once I make it through May 2017, though, I’ll be looking at packing up my gear and moving on. Farther east? Back out west? Into my car with a backpack? The thing is, looking into the great wide open (ahem, Tom Petty reference) is vaguely terrifying. After all, I’m on my own (see: Eponine’s solo in Les Miserables).

These days, I’m trying rather hard not to think much about all of that. Instead, I’m concentrating on the many people who have heard about the book and the way they’ve reacted. Invariably, there are those who show no great emotion. Then there are those who are excited and engaged and want to know everything that’s happening and how they can help. And finally, there are those who say simply: “Anything you need.”

Every one of them means it sincerely. When I feel overwhelmed, or the enthusiasm wears off, or I feel alone, or I start thinking too far ahead of myself, I focus on them. And for a moment, as uncertain as life may be, I feel the rocks beneath my feet and the cool air on my face—and I have everything I need.