|Screenshot of My Computer on 5/12/2012 at 11:40 PM|
Every Saturday night, sometime between 9:00 PM and midnight, pacific time, I do the same exact thing--I sit down at my desk and click The New York Times on my toolbar and read Modern Love. Every Sunday morning, I do the same exact thing--I call my best friend, Rebecca, in New York and say, "Have you read Modern Love yet?" If she says, yes, we discuss. If she says, no, and it's a really good one, I insist that she read it and call me back immediately. Everyone that knows me well associates the column with me. I talk about it. I reference certain stories. I print them out and give them to clients and friends. And I've had a file on my hard drive for years with my attempts to write an appropriate piece. In October, 2011 I finally submitted one and on October 31st, the seventh anniversary of the column, it was rejected.
On April 2, 2012, I performed a piece at Spark Off Rose in Los Angeles (think The Moth). That night when I got home I emailed the essay to Rebecca since we live on opposite coasts and she wasn't here to see me. The following morning I awoke to a response from her that read, "It's so good. I think that piece is more Modern Love than your other piece. Maybe you should try again." So I did. Two mornings later I submitted it, then well-versed in the submission process, and the following Monday I got an email from Dan Jones. The rest is history.
I am a total romantic so it's both ironic and perfect that my essay is not about romantic love, but maternal love. That's the whole point of this site, First Comes Motherhood Then Comes Marriage. Sometimes it is through learning how to love a child that we come to know how to be good partners. It just couldn't have happened in any other order. My son has been the greatest love of my life thus far, even if it was a different love than what I was expecting. And the reality is that almost everything good that I know and have and am has come from being his mother.
This past Friday Rebecca said, "I can't wait for Sunday to ask you if you've read Modern Love yet." Tonight when I followed my usual routine I found my own name there on the screen. In the moments when I doubt if I'll ever find my soul mate, I'll remember the lesson I learned from getting this essay published: patience and persistence pay off, mixed in with a handful of divine timing, and good friends that believe in your dream as much as you do.