I caught a taxi over London Bridge on Thursday and went right past my old office. It was like a regression – like remembering a past life (in this case not the kind where you discover you were Cleopatra with grape-feeding slaves but the kind where you find out you were the grape-feeding slave). And the grin almost tore my cheeks in two.
I still pinch myself regularly trying to believe that this is my life now. No more 9-5, no more commute, no more tube. No more going to meetings in heels to make myself look grown up and pretending like I knew what I was talking about and going cross eyed as civil servants pronounced on riveting stuff like digital inclusion. No more having to performance review people or fire them (though I have to say I do miss that last one). I recently re-read a post I did four days before resigning and it made me cringe at all the lost hours I’d spent at tossery events called unconferences. But it also made me proud of the old me for having the guts to leave (both the unconferences and head to the pub and to actually leave my job and the UK). I’m the poorest I’ve ever been but also the happiest.
Earlier in the day I had been to Simon & Schuster with my agent to meet my publisher. I hadn’t given it much thought other than slapping on a pair of heels and some lipstick in an effort to look professional (it’s been a while and even back in the day it was quite a task – my feet are still in shock). So when I walked into the room and saw the champagne on the table and the eight glasses I wondered if I was interrupting something – some important meeting. I even thought to myself ‘oooh what a fabulous job publishing must be – you can sit and read books all day whilst drinking pink champagne, maybe I shouldn’t be so hasty about moving to Bali, there is no champagne there afterall and books are squeamishly expensive’ until I realized the champagne was for me. And a whole lovely roomful of people appeared to say hello (and did I mention they were all extremely LOVELY and also extremely stylish, witty, fun and brilliantly intelligent along with that?). Then they gave me a pile of books and my happiness was all complete. It was like supermarket sweep, only with bookshelves and no Dale Winton. It was about as exciting as getting a book deal in itself. Free books! And champagne!
Before that I’d been to my agent’s office and seen the towering pile of submission manuscripts on the desk and it made me realize how big the odds are to make it to a room with pink champagne.
And somehow, with the help of Alex Skarsgard and an overactive imagination I made it. For that I am grateful.
Ps. My husband helped too. For that I am grateful!
pps. I suppose what I mean to say in this post is something that I saw written on a park bench yesterday and which I saw as a sign (I’m seeing signs everywhere – I’m like M. Night Shyamalan). It said:
He who seeks dreams will dance into tomorrow, igniting passions and capturing hearts.
Seek dreams people.