In the winter of 1995 I sprouted breasts practically overnight. I went from flat to bikini-worthy by the following summer. I was not ready for breasts that fast, but they came anyway and I had to navigate the world as a newly endowed woman–no small feat at not-quite 13 years-old, let me tell you. It was out of necessity that I learned how easily my breasts attracted the male persuasion. I learned a hard and fast lesson when the boy I’d had a crush on during my pre-breast days, who never acknowledged me before, now ogled me.
Ready or not, I now stood out for different reasons. I was now perceived differently than I was before.
In 2013, I grew new set of proverbial breasts:
About a year ago, January of 2013, the hubs asked, “So when are you going to publish book 1?”
“When I’m done editing,” I replied, hiding behind my laptop.
“When will that be?”
“I’ll know it when I see it.”
“Riiight,” he said, eyeing me skeptically. “You know you’re going to edit that thing into oblivion. You need to set a deadline. Give me a date.”
“I don’t know…” I said, avoiding his face, tapping a few keys in order to look busy. “I’ll just know when it’s done.”
“How close are you to being done?”
I got really uncomfortable by then. I hated committing to things unless I was positive I could accomplish them. “Close,” I replied when he refused to go away. “A few months maybe.”
“Okay then,” he said, relieved to be getting some kind of timeline out of me. “A year?”
“Oh I’m sure it will be done within a year,” I replied dismissively. A year was plenty of time to get comfortable with the idea of letting people read my work. A year was like… a lifetime away.
“Do you promise to publish your first book before the end of the year?” he asked, obviously wanting to nail me down.
“Yes. Before the end of the year.” Did I just say that? A year? I’m going to let people read my precious work in a year? I think I’d prefer streaking the neighborhood… That seems a lot less… terrifying. And I’m going indie. That’s almost as bad as coming out of the closet to your conservative family...
And that’s how this began. I mean really began. I realize, looking back, that “I’ll know it when I see it” really was never going to happen without a deadline. I was never going to be ready for a deadline. Just like I was never going to be ready for breasts no matter what age they came. I just had to dive in and hope I friggin survived the shock of “being a woman.” I was going to have to survive the shock of “being an indie-published author.” When you confess to being an indie, people either think you’re brave as hell, or delusional as hell.
FYI, it’s the former. And if you say any different, you better show me your new boobs. Because I earned mine.
Thank-you 2013. You grew me more than my first set of boobs did in 1995. And it was way more fun this time around.
I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.