I feel validated today! Isn't that a wonderful feeling, when you can take a deep breath, let it out, and say to yourself, "Yeah, I just DID something"?
I've had several sources of validation in the past 24 hours or so, and it's just such a bubbling-over pot of everyday goodness that I have to type it up and post it, so that next week or the week after when I'm crying and feeling blue and shaking my fists at the sky, I'll have this to look back at and say, "But at least I had that good day then!"
The first source is actually kind of zero-sum, because my feeling validated sprang from Husband feeling crushed beneath a mountain of academia. He's working on a PhD now, and he has to read around 76,000ish pages a week in order to fill his brain with knowledge. Because Husband was struggling to keep his reading spectacles above water (read: feeling blue and shaking fists at sky), I got to be his Supporter Numero Uno, and last night I helped him plan out a studying and writing schedule to move his mountain of academia -- a schedule that he's now implementing and feeling much better about! And since I have a lighter schedule in the evenings this week, I got a ton of laundry folded, dishes washed, and lunches packed, to help keep our household moving while he and I frantically chase brilliance with our keyboards in the next few weeks.
Husband is generally awesome, as spouses go, and he says many kind things to me that I don't record for blogger posterity. But today he's said several times, "I couldn't do this without you," or "I feel so much better because of you." That's when I know I'm being the kind of wife I want to be.
It's incredibly validating and fulfilling to support somebody else. Too often, I think we get caught up in our own pursuits and successes, who's supporting US and building US up... which, granted, is important and necessary to achieving what we want out of life. (I mean, if I spent every day doing laundry and making schedules, I'd never get any writing done.) But I think that sometimes we get so wrapped up in that single-minded pursuit that we miss out on something equally rewarding.
Knowing that somebody else is counting on you to make their dreams a reality makes their goals your goals: when they succeed, you do as well, and it makes sharing your goals with them more satisfying, too.
This afternoon, I found out two wonderful pieces of news: first, my two-sentence pitch for Ugly Stick at YAtopia was singled out by a real live literary agent as one of her favorites! Let me tell you, it is TOUGH to condense a 50,000 word work that you've poured your heart and creative energies into down to two sentences! But I did it:
Seventeen-year-old April Somerfield is a shy, self-loathing misfit who would blend in with the wallpaper, if only the wallpaper were a little less attractive. When she discovers the family curse that made her who she is, April must decide if becoming beautiful on the outside is worth giving up the truly beautiful person she would otherwise become.
And she liked it! She wanted to read more! *smiles all around!*
Second, I checked on another blog contest that I had entered, at one of my favorite writing websites, Mother.Write. Twenty writers had submitted their query letters and first-page excerpts for the public critique of peers and an outstanding agent. The top four were invited to submit work to the agent for consideration.
And one of the top four was Ugly Stick! *does non-literal backflips*
So I'm going to be sending out some more pages, and that's super-exciting. I even did my desk-chair-happy-dance when I saw the results page. But what made me the happiest about it was being able to sit back, take a deep breath, and say to myself, "Yeah, I DID that!" It was just the right boost for a rainy Monday.
So here's a boost for you, net-friends! This short film, Validation, is one of my absolute favorites when I feel blue or need to shake my fists at the sky. Take a few spare minutes to watch it. You'll be glad you did!
Good luck with the rest of the week! Try to validate the people around you. It's amazing what making someone's day can do for your own.
You are GREAT!