Inside the office of TPTB, I was greeted by a pleasant woman who happened to be passing through the reception area. She welcomed me warmly, as though my presence there was something other than an interruption, and went off to find the man with whom I had an appointment.
The Man showed up in moments and ushered me into a conference room. He set a timer on his watch and waited for me to speak. I could barely breathe. The Moderate Control Garment was only part of the problem. The larger issue was the enormity of the opportunity before me. A good friend told me not to worry, that getting into the room was the hardest part.
He was wrong. Getting the first sentence out was the hardest part.
The Man mostly looked at the table or toward the far corner of the room. I looked over there too, wondering what was so fascinating about that empty corner. Nothing I could see. Absent any facial clues from him, I said what I'd came to say and stopped talking. It took less than 2 minutes.
TM pronounced the idea good and timely and worth taking to his boss. He said he'd get back to me with her response. I thanked him and offered him the stack of my books I'd brought along and a DVD of a video for which I recently wrote the script. TM accepted the books with thanks. And then he mentioned some research that needed to be done to clear the idea.
I'd already done that research and described what I'd done, how I'd done it, and what I'd found. "It might seem kind of obsessive," I half-apologized.
TM looked straight into my eyes for the first time. "That's not obsessive," he said. "That's what it takes."
He paused then asked if I was willing to take the next steps toward the goal.
I looked straight into his eyes. Yes, I said. Yes.
Since Tuesday at about 10:45 am, I have been working like a maniac at something I have no idea how to do. I have this chance because I sat up into the wee hours, night after night, doing something else I did not know how to do. I did that thing only because it was the one thing I could think of that might help. It did. It got TM's full attention and moved me from the wanna-be square to the much smaller square of people who are willing to do the work.
Last night, Michelle sent me a link to a talk Elizabeth Gilbert gave about genius. Elizabeth says we're not responsible for whether or not genius arrives. Our job is to show up and do the work, to simply be stubborn enough to keep going no matter what.
I'm grateful for that reminder. This morning I've run out of ideas on how to accomplish this next goal. It feels like I've hit a brick wall. Listening to Elizabeth, I remember I can always find one thing, even one tiny thing, that might work. The trick is to find one tiny thing and one more and one more.
I've got your stubborn right here, Elizabeth. The one thing I never run out of is stubborn.