So I’m a little bit skittish in Bloglandia today. For those of you that don’t know, I got two tough rejection emails from places that were really important to me. Both places got pieces that I wrote on immigration. They were very different, but both based on my personal story/views on immigration in the U.S. One turn-down came on Monday morning, the next on Tuesday morning. A sharp one-two punch.
Now on the one hand, if I’m getting rejections, I’m in the game. Which is a good thing. On the other hand, I’m getting rejections. Which sucks.
It’s funny – when I get turned down for a performance of my show, The Deportee’s Wife, I usually don’t miss a beat. Sure, I would’ve loved the gig and all that, but the no doesn’t make me want to eat comfort food asap and sleep the day away. When I get turned down for other types of writing, the kind that I have no emotional connection with, I usually shake myself off and push on.
But while I was OK Monday and soldiering on, the second notice yesterday just did me in. And it was a post by my friend B that made me realize what’s underneath:
And G, I hope you don’t take this personally, but you and I are about the same age. When you hit this particular point in life (no I’m not saying “cuantos años”), you begin a process of introspection in which you become very hard on yourself– some might call it a “mid-life crisis.” Believe me, I understand how you feel, having dumped a successful career in ——– years ago to pursue what was dear to my heart, and now sometimes having the same inner questioning erupt in my mind.
He’s right on the proverbial money that I don’t have right now. I couldn’t even respond to him yesterday. I just cried on the roof while doing our laundry.
B is in a similar situation immigration-wise. My close friends know that since I turned 40 this past January, I’ve been in this extended remix of a mid-life crisis. It comes and goes. But the whole, “I’m 40” thing comes up a lot in my conversations with them. And not happily. I in no way whatsoever have embraced entering my 40s.
Yesterday I caught myself thinking, “What if I never moved to Mexico? What would my life be like right now at 40? My thoughts turned to some of my U.S.-born exes out there – what if I had married one of you?
I’m not proud of where my thoughts took me yesterday. But I think that if you make life decisions based on your spouse’s immigration situation, those questions come up in one way or another. I think that they come up when you’re in a committed relationship with a person, period. Yet those questions do cut in a specific way for those of who flail around in U.S. immigration’s quicksand.
And apart from my moldy mid-life crisis, (I mean, my birthday was nine months ago,) what shook me to the core yesterday was that if two very different writing opportunities turned down my immigration writing, then why the hell am I writing about immigration? Who is really listening? After yesterday’s DREAM Act vote, that’s especially ringing true for me. In a crazy moment yesterday, I thought, “Hey – maybe the universe is telling me to go back to teaching English.”
I know that the two rejections aren’t the only places in the world to be published. I know that I have a grouchy yet necessary voice as an immigration activist. I generally have come to trust my voice as a writer. And the blog readers that I have here I deeply appreciate.
But part of my Dream for the Deportee’s Wife campaign involved talking to you Activators about how I need to be more visible in the public conversation. Those two places would have been key in the next steps.
Today, I’m most definitely a poster child for, “40 and not feeling fabulous.”
Let me rephrase that:
“Fucking 40 years old and not feeling fabulous in any fucking way whatsoever.”