Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Fakin' it (or, Don't Hate Me Because I'm Lucky)

Some days, it hits me how ridiculously lucky I've been in my career--in my life, actually. Maybe lucky is the wrong word. What I'm talking about is being that kind of person most of you probably hate, the kind of person to whom things--good things--happen, pretty much without me having to lift a finger.

Let me explain. I could start back in elementary school, but I'll skip to graduate school, where I was in a science writing program (with a full-scholarship ride, I might add, based not in small part by the fact that the program director's brother went to my college). To complete my graduate program, you had to do an internship. I'm a procrastinator, and I put off finding one until the last minute, when I went running to the internship director all freaked out, and she laughed and said, "It's your lucky day. ABigScience magazine just called this morning looking for an intern, and I told them I thought everyone was already set."

It was that moment of luck, or serendipity, or whatever, on which the rest of my life is based. I ended up working at ABigScience magazine for seven-plus years. It was there that I met D, a friend who later recommended me for a BigCableNetwork wildlife series. That wildlife series involved my working with a man who later recommended me for the book I wrote about a different documentary series that ran in the UK.

It was also at ABigScience magazine that I met P, a friend who later recommended me to a public relations person for a job in Los Angeles. The guy called me, and I politely turned him down. (PR? Me? The hot-shot senior editor/freelancer? Bah!) Three years later, after a job at a magazine that died a quick and painless death, I decided I needed stability, and sent in a resume to a job listing at a local university. I got a call within minutes asking me in for an interview--an interview that was really nothing more than them trying to talk me into coming to work for them. And one of the two people in that room? That same guy--who had remembered my name, remembered P's glowing recommendation, and wanted me to work with him. I'm still here--and, in general, very happy to be here.

And as if that weren't enough, it was at ABigScience magazine that I met J, who became my best friend, and who said to me, when I'd been in LA for less than a year, "Oh, if you're just looking for a fun date, I should set you up with my brother." He did. Almost from our first date, I knew I was going to wind up married to Baroy. And I owe it all to J and to ABigScience magazine.

What's making me thing about this now, today, is that I'm still in negotiations for this bipolar book, and I was thinking about how even this is tied almost-inextricably to my past, rather than to my credentials. For one thing, there are two women I know who work at the magazine putting out this book series. One of them is a friend of J's, who I met through him, and who also worked at ABigScience magazine, though after I'd gone. Still, we know a lot about one another, and she's the one really pushing for me to the book publisher, who would otherwise have passed me over in favor of someone with more writing experience on the subject itself. The other woman I know there, who also apparently is singing my praises, is someone I dealt with a few times when I took over the internship program at my graduate school for a couple of years.

Not to mention that yesterday, someone from my job here came up to me to see if I might be interested in possibly co-writing a book with one of our doctors, as well as with a 'celebrity' patient of his, on a medical topic. And I almost laughed out loud. I mean, if all these possibilities were to come to fruition, I could have three books to my name, not a single one of which I initiated at all. Who does this kind of crap happen to? It's almost ludicrous to have so much good stuff simply handed to you...

Now, in my defense, I know that none of this would have happened to me if I weren't at least moderately good at what I do. I am. I know that. I'm even possibly more than moderately good. But still. Still. I keep thinking that at some point in my life, I'm actually going to have to go out there and go after something. You know, be aggressive. Work for my success. But, maybe not. Maybe I'll get to go through my entire life having my life happen to me. (Certainly, that's the way it's been with the bad things, too. I didn't go out there looking for a stalker. Hmmm. Maybe she's karmic payback...)

No pain, a good amount of gain. I can live with that, I think.

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