Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Monday, September 15, 2003

Failure of the Day: Luck

Well, it's my first day of my new job! Chris suggested I wear something nice to add a sense of occasion—maybe my best pajamas.

As I wait for my assignment to hit my inbox, I cant help but think about this really pretty incredible circumstance I find myself in. I wish I could say I knew just how it turned out this way, how I got so lucky, or just when everything went from such crap to such niceness. But I don't know. It just sort of happened.

During the 10 years when I got SSI and didn't have a job, I always knew that at some point I would return to the workforce. I wasn't expecting to go into remission; I just thought I would get a teaching job that I could do without needing to walk or anything. That was the entirety of my plan. Plan B, it was, because what I really wanted to do was be an editor. But everyone knows that that's impossible—editors are skinny 24 year old girls in New York, not crippled girls already in their 30's.

Then I met Chris and we moved to Seattle, and although I had not one minute of professional experience as an editor (or as much of anything else), I started applying for editing jobs. After 6 months, I got one.

Let's stop here for a moment and reflect because even though at the time (and even today) it seemed all but inevitable that I would get that job, it sort of takes my breath away. I got that job. My first since 1991, and in the field I wanted most but assumed was impossible. Yes. I fell back on Plan A.

I quit that job on Friday. During the 3 and half years I worked for them, I learned a hell of a lot about editing and publishing and proofreading. I telecommuted for most of my last year in Seattle and for all of the 7 and a half months in SF. So again, it just seemed natural to continue telecommuting; I'm all set up for it.

And so I got more freelance telecommute jobs, and a nice pay increase to boot, and I'm going along my merry way, looking on the surface like what I suppose I am: a reasonably competent if very lucky adult. But there's a part of my brain that hasn't yet and probably will never recover from the surprise that so far, I'm succeeding at this.


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