How many mistakes…

Cinderella, dressed in yella, went upstairs to kiss a fella. Made a mistake, kissed a snake. How many doctors will it take?

What a strange nursery rhyme, now that I type it here and think about it.

Every day in my creative playground I’m dressed in yella. I try new things. Sometimes I’ve kissed the prince, while sometimes it’s… well it’s certainly not a snake, I’ll tell you that much. Though I’ve kissed myself in the mirror perhaps; metaphorically at least. Which come to think of it, is like kissing the snake, in fact. It’s Eve’s alter ego, saying yes, keep eating that apple, keep going deeper and deeper to your own stupidity in your endless quest for knowledge; sometimes it’s the only way out. It’s how humanity was born, some say.

Last night I decided to apply for my pet Master’s program. The deadline was Jan 31st. I decided to start it at 22:00 French time. I completed the entire application, it took hours but the portal remained open though each document upload as I trucked along to the end of the race, step by step. I figured they must be allowing a bit of lateness, for the portal to keep allowing my uploads like that.

But when I triumphantly hit “Submit,” after this relatively amazing feat of casually choosing which referees (I know that’s ridiculous, to choose them that last minute, but figuring out whom to ask — and how — was whole reason I hadn’t submitted till now); uploading ancient transcripts and degrees, uploading a CV (OMG, I now have an actual, real, CV); writing the personal statement AND a book proposal (no idea how to write a book proposal) and quickly choosing not just one, but two complete writing samples, turning them into PDF’s and uploading them as well. And then I hit SUBMIT. And the portal said I’m sorry, your submission could not be completed. The deadline is past.

I felt such intense relief. I wanted it so much, and if I’d had to wait a month, after doing this crazy hard thing, to be rejected again, I might have downed a bottle of pinot noir. Just kidding. But sort of not kidding. I actually wanted to down a bottle of pinot noir right after getting that submit fail message. Not because I was sad. Because I was relieved and released and free from rejection.

I felt like a new person.  I had two good pieces, a list of online writing samples and a CV.  And under pressure, I could write a personal statement like a mofo. (It was probably the world’s shortest, fastest-written Master’s application cover letter ever submitted.)

Congratulations, you’ve reached writing adulthood! You kissed enough snakes, you’ve built up a resistance to venom. Though perhaps you’re not invincible, no doctors needed! And Prince Charming is out of the picture—temporarily at least. Feel free to get busy with the beast. Or your local angel. Either way.

I am(/was?) a happy drinker; I love(d) to amplify good feelings and just explode them into a love-soaked grape festival.

But even though the fridge is still stocked with a chilled bottle of bubbly — plus the unfinished one from Boxing Day, which I’ve labelled “Relic” with the label-maker — and the wine alcove is filled with bottles of red, I drank a glass of water instead. And went to bed. My writing dreams still very much alive, in my head.


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