life · Uncategorized · writing

The First Seven Years are the Hardest (Thoughts on Anniversaries)

I like anniversaries. I’ve got a good memory for events, and I think that my natural inclination to live in the past can be channled into a productive and enjoyable present moment. I enjoy new years, and taking time into my own hands when I know how arbitrary it is that we assign specific start times to years. The Gregorian, Lunar, and Academic new years are all off kilter from each other. Culturally, it seems like most civilizations think of the new year as something that happens either once the days start getting longer, or right before spring. Centering a celebration of excitement and new beginnings at a time after physical coldness or darkness makes sense to me…but there are a lot of times of the year that carry an emotional warmth to them simply because I am excited for the start of another year.

I spent this weekend in San Francisco with Zaq, in which time we went to see Avenue Q (Zaq’s now-favorite musical) two sushi dinners, and the San Francisco Dungeon (tourist trap…I could have written a better script for it, I swear!) We were also planning on going out to a club since neither of us has ever been “clubbing” before, but when the hotel brought us a bottle of champagne and a bowl of chocolate covered strawberries, staying in and having a cozy evening after a couple of long days sounded like more fun. There were tea shops, pier shops, and chocolate shops…and a cuddly ride to and from on the Caltrain. The whole experience was absolutely fanatastic, and I’m looking forward to another great year with this guy.

However, another exciting anniversary is coming up.

January 15th will mark seven years to the day since I finished drafting my first novel. I like to remember this day because at the time it was a huge accomplishment, and I don’t ever want to lose sight of how proud I was to hit that milestone. No matter where my career goes, I want to keep in perspective that I am a novelist and no one can take that away from me. I have the determination to sit down and clock out tens of thousands of words in a coherent story, and as long as that’s true it is easier to believe that I have the determination and willpower to deal with rejections, reviews, and all other challenges of publishing. So, when Friday rolls around I’m going to make sure to do something special for myself…I’m not quite sure what would be bookish and appropriate, but I’m sure I’ll think of something. As Maria Hummel once told me, “The first seven years are the hardest.” If that’s true, it looks like I hit my big break right on schedule…and enjoyed every one of those seven years I spent plugging away at it.


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