Friday, March 31, 2006

I am here to write my way out of a pit that has mysteriously sunk in the middle of my room, trapping me at the bottom. That's right, I'm at least four feet lower than usual, requiring the use of very long chopsticks to reach my keyboard.

I dislike psychobabble phrases such as: "you're afraid of your own success," because, well, who would be afraid of success? I mean what a stupid thing to say. Success is good, coveted, desired.

Yet. It's true.

Here, poised at a stage in my life (and my husband's) when all is going better than it could possibly be imagined, the earth tried to open up and pull me down, and to help it, little black flying demons of negativity came to step on my head and pry my fingers free from the rim so I would fall.

In layperson's terms, all this great stuff happening has kind of scared me. I'm not supposed to be this happy. I'm not deserving of this success. Surely someone is going to come by any moment and revoke my right to all this bounty! Why even bother to enjoy it when it's only going to be snatched away?

You see the problem? Not exactly a great way to pay back the universe for its generous gifts of goodness.

So I'm writing it down here as a public confession, hoping that by doing so I can climb up and out and realize that sitting in a big old funky stinkhole of fear is really not better than walking into the bright light of success. In fact, it's far worse, and a gurantee of keeping success out.

So I'm going to stop it now. Right now.



At 4:17 AM, Blogger Ellen said...

Success is much scarier than failure, Jordan, but nobody talks about it because it's so hard to say it out loud without eliciting sarcastic comments. ("Oh you poor dear, dragging those heavy diamonds around all day.") All I can tell you is to give yourself permission to be happy. You worked so hard to get where you are and you do deserve it, Jordan. You really do!

Also, know that the fear only comes in small waves. Most of the time you'll be too busy and too focused on the anxiety of meeting deadlines to have room for it. And that's the comfortable kind of anxiety we're used to.

And also also. You've got so much going on right now--between your book and your move and Erik's new job--that it's only natural that you'd be thrown off-kilter, right?

Love you, Jordan! Hang in there.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

I swear to god, the minute I wrote this blog post, the last vestiges of my anxiety almost literally swept out of me. I remembered: I'm writing a book! I'm moving to a new home! My husband has a new Job!

Thanks, Ellen. Love the bit about dragging the diamonds!


At 12:19 PM, Blogger leenie71689 said...

I'm fairly new to blogging and have been secretly reading your blog...really great stuff -- but I have to admit your out outwits me at times and I have to re-read a couple times;) andyways, I find writing in my blog very theraputic...often just getting things out there, whether in voice or on paper, somehow helps to clear the clutter and stop the festering...I'm glad you're feeling more comfortable in your fortunate position. Congrats.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger leenie71689 said...

Sorry - I meant to say your wit outwits me at times...duh - no wonder, huh?

At 3:04 PM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Eileen--Thanks for outing yourself. I'm not sure if by "outwit" you mean that I sound like a pretentious jackass, or that I write grandiose sentences...either way, I'm glad you persevere in stopping by.

Thanks for stepping out from behind the curtain!


At 7:03 AM, Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Leenie loves the movie Moulin Rouge, so, you know, there you go... ;-) ;-) (Just kidding, Leenie. But Moulin Rouge still sucks.) :-0

Jordan, I'm glad you feel less anxious now. You worked HARD for your success, so you deserve all of the good feelings that come with it. Open a nice bottle of champagne, look at your gorgeous self in the mirror, and toast your own fabulousness!

At 11:01 AM, Blogger RobinSlick said...

What everyone else said.

(Though as a fellow sufferer, I know the feeling well.)

But as we've been telling you all along, you are a star.


At 8:51 AM, Blogger Rob Loughran said...

Hiya Jordan,

Of course success is scary. It is what we've always wanted and what we've always worked for. If it isn't as exciting or satisfying as we anticipate it to be, then our entire "Life Plan" hasn't, somehow, worked out quite right.

Don't worry, as exciting as getting a book published is; there is nothing better than the thrill of starting your next project. The writer's best friend is a blank page and success is, simply and ultimately, filling it with words.

That's what writers do, day-after-day against all odds. We are all salmon swimming upstream with pencils in our mouths.

I know hearing this from someone who writes jokebooks for a living
is like getting financial tips from your paperboy, but that doesn't make it any less true or the process any less miraculous or savory.

Rob Loughran
Windsor, CA

P.S. "If you can speak what you will never hear, if you can write what you will never read, you have rare things." --Thoreau

P.P.S. How do you make God laugh?
Tell Her all your plans....


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