Do you remember this episode of "Friends"? I don't remember who had the book - I'm assuming it was Phoebe because after all it just sounds like her, but it was a whole "female solidarity" kind of thing and talked about men "stealing their wind".
Well I'm not here to rant about men per se, but we all know them. People that steal our wind. People that take our good news, vibes, optimism and manage to throw a bucket of cold water on the whole lot.
I was so overwhelmed by all the good wishes I got when I sold...couldn't believe how many people offered congratulations and said so many amazing things. But there were a few - a handful - that you could just tell were, shall we say, less than enthusiastic. You know how it goes. You talk on the phone, drop an e-mail, say something about whatever it is that's making you happy. Maybe it's professional, maybe you've fallen in love. Maybe you're planning a wedding or having a baby or whatever. But there will always be people who can't handle it.
I'm convinced that a prerequisite for being a wind stealer is unhappiness, and a general jealousy and feeling of impotence. A lack of courage to stand up and take control of their own lives, or they haven't found their passion and choose to remain in their own rut. These are people who are unhappy with their own lives and on some level really resent you for being happy with yours. I get it more than I'd like. At first it was being a SAHM. Oh, it must be nice not to have to work. HAH. But that's another rant...
When I started writing, it was "cute". Sure I was doing what I wanted but after all, I wasn't really succeeding at it, was I? But now...now that I've sold a book and there's actually potential in this whole gig, I'm subject to wind-suckage. One example - not mentioning names - is a phone call I made. I listened to this person talk about their week for 10 minutes. As soon as I said anything about my week, which lets face it, did have a lot to do with writing, the subject was abruptly changed and I got the "well I don't mean to cut you off but I've got to go." Cut me off? I got in a few random sentences in the whole conversation.
This is also a person who is not particularly happy with her life, I think. On several levels. I'm running out of safe topics.
I saw it again last night, with a friend. She's having some pretty cool professional things happen right now, really exciting. But her sister changes the subject or just gets nasty. I know it's because she wants the same thing but is too afraid to pursue it, and she resents the fact that her sister is doing what she can only dream about. Wind stealer. It leaves you feeling completely deflated.
Don't let them get you, guys. Surround yourselves with people who can be truly happy for you. Don't let suckage dilute your joy in your own life.
Don't let them steal your wind! :-)