The let-down of success.
On Saturday, I worked pretty hard putting together an opinion piece about the Vatican's priest-sex-abuse vortex. Like a high school student writing a term paper on a topic s/he actually cared about, I finished it, had it looked over by a couple of people more knowledgeable than I am, and, when they gave it a passing grade, shipped it out to the teacher ... in this case, the local newspaper, the Daily Hampshire Gazette. It ain't The New York Times and it ain't The Washington Post, but it is print and I really wanted to get it published, much as a teenager might want to get an A.
But like any writer, I felt vulnerable and naked ... somehow stripped: This was something I really cared about. I had done what I could, but would anyone else give a shit? I waited through Sunday, when the paper was closed. Occasional jets of hopefulness played ping-pong with swirling doubts ... maybe I should have done things differently, maybe I should have been more passive-voice cautious, maybe ... maybe, maybe, maybe no one would give a shit.
But this morning, the knots in my expectant belly were released. A note from the executive editor said the paper would run the piece tomorrow. He also made a gently-couched suggestion about something I might want to add. I added it because it was relevant enough to be worth adding.
And now ... now nothing. It's all over, so to speak. All over and yet the space I had reserved for hopefulness and doubt can no longer find a purchase point.
It's a success ... and I feel a bit like what I imagine a birth-mom to feel: Postpartum depression.