I went to see Up in the Air last weekend with Michael, and I won't blow the movie for you here. But I will tell you something that you may know from previews or will know in the first seconds of the movie: the main character fires people for a living. He's a hired gun, a firing machine, and he roams the air, landing only to detach people from their moorings.
As he fires people, one of his lines goes something as follows: "Everyone who's done something great has been where you are right now. To do something great, you have to face defeat."
It's really not as badly written as that but something similar.
This hitting bottom is a place we know from either going to AA meetings ourselves or with another person or from Al-Anon or any number of self-help books or motivational talks. The mythology is that we have to hit that flat, hard place or let someone else hit it before we or they can begin that long climb back to "normal" life.
It's a place none of us want to contemplate, that flat on your face, in your own vomit time of life. There we are: on the bottom. We've hit it. No bandages on our brusies. Just air and wind and the truth that things have gotten just about as bad as they can get. At least, that's what we hope.
In August of last year, I hit bottom career wise. Suffice it to say, I had an Up in the Air moment, but I wasn't the main character. I was the poor schmuck at the other side of the table listening to someone tell me how things just weren't working out. My agent and I parted ways, and I was there on the rock bottom wondering what in the hell I was going to do.
The weird thing is that I wasn't upset. Not really. I was irritated as hell, but it was the right thing. You know that feeling you have when you get out of a relationship that isn't working well? That relief even though it means hard work is at hand? I felt as though I were free, but being free means that I had to move. And the knowledge that I had to move was the part that was rock bottom.
The truth is that the George Clooney character is right. We have to hit something before we are bounced off and thrust back into it, whatever it is. So what did I do? I wrote another novel. And I rewrote a novel I have been rewriting for a long while. I sent those two novels out into the world, and this week, after four months of agent search and novel writing and angst and a great deal of learning--in so many ways—I have signed with my new agent.
So I haven't crawled out of rock bottom to become great or famous or best-selling. I've just crawled out. And during the crawl, amazing things happened to me. All those motivational speakers are right. It's the journey upward that makes the life. And really, there's no end of the bottom. There's just more up, and up is good.Jessica
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org