My nineteen-year-old daughter, Paige, came home to San Diego from Williams College in Massachusetts for spring break. We enjoyed wonderful long talks, dog walks, and ate scrumptious authentic Mexican and Vietnamese meals together. Sadly for me, but bad ass for her, she didn’t get to stay in San Diego for the whole break.
Paige is double-majoring in economics and art history at Williams. She spent last summer doing an internship for the Grameen Foundation in microfinance in the Philippines, and she wanted to find out more about the art world to weigh her career options after she graduates in 2016. Sifting through contacts in the Williams directory of alumni students, Paige came upon and emailed Radina Angelova, director of the brand new Red Royal Gallery on the lower east side of Manhattan. Happy to hear from a fellow Williams student, Radina responded to Paige’s inquiry with helpful information regarding careers in art. The two of them hit it off via e-communication, and Radina eventually invited Paige to attend the black-tie opening of the gallery, last Friday.
Paige didn’t hesitate. She booked a flight with frequent flyer miles (my husband travels a lot for work), hopped a plane to New York on Thursday, and had little idea where she was going when she arrived at the JFK airport. Still, she decided to save the cab fare and figure out how to get to a friend’s parents’ house taking the subway. Once she reached her destination, $45 richer, she discovered her friend’s family had a previous engagement and would be out for the evening. This would have rattled some people, but Paige smiled, thanked her hosts for allowing her to stay on short notice, and decided to catch a bus to check out some sites in the city – by herself (Okay. As her mom, I admit her solo jaunts around New York City make me a bit nervous).
On Friday, Paige dressed in an elegant gown, took a cab across town, and attended the Red Royal Gallery opening as a party of one. She appears in several photos at the event listening, talking, and laughing with strangers who she tells me have became friends. Paige loves Radina, who is full of enthusiasm as well as art and sales smarts. Best of all, Radina invited Paige to do a six-week internship at the gallery during the summer to get hands-on experience in the art business. Living accommodations in New York will be Paige’s next hurdle, but knowing her, she’ll figure it out.
The point is: if a nineteen-year-old can do all that, I should be able to persevere until I find an agent to represent my YA series, right? Uncertainty in writing is no different than all kinds of other goals and dreams that require guts and determination. It’s not that Paige never has doubts. She’s learned to have fear and dive in anyway.
Sometimes I’d like to borrow some of Paige’s courage, although I must have some of my own, because I’m still working on realizing my writing dreams.
If you’ve done something that took some guts, or you’re thinking about jumping into a project/event/whatever and you want to run it by your fellow bad asses, or you just have something to say, we’d love to hear from you!