Best American Essays 2015

It was one of those days. I had slept until noon, lounged in my pajamas until almost 4, and berated myself for most of those hours for not just getting my act together already. Which was all needless nonsense because when the lazies have hit, they have hit, and I have found that sometimes the best counter measure is none at all. I sprawled on the couch resolving to just roll with it. Who cares?! Take. A. Day. Off. Seriously, Type A. Chill.

Well, that was the idea until I got a note from Ann Pryzyzcki at Isthmus telling me that my piece, Diego Forever, had been listed as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2015. While I can’t confirm the specifics of the following events, I have it on good authority that they went something like this…

A bedhead-addled woman in bleach-stained Victoria’s Secret sweats vaulted off the couch hollering Holy Shit! at the top of her lungs, and proceeded to immediately cry her face off. Or something very, very close to that.

You see, allowing myself to step into my life as a writer has been something I had denied myself for years. Years and years and why-the-hell-did-I-do-that-to-myself for yeeeears? When I send pieces out for publication, I’m always astonished that they make it to print. Not that I think the words suck. Ok, so sometimes I do, but the pervasive feeling is awe. The amazement that I can actually do this knocks me flat. Every. Single. Time.

So when Best American Essays merely prints my name… well…

Even so, I’m a grown ass woman. It’s a mention in the back of a book for crying out loud. Seriously, Kelly, get a hold of yourself! But the reality is, I can’t. Nor should I. It’s a big ass deal and I’ve been celebrating it all week. Celebrating the work, the inspiration behind it, the support along the way, and all the people who have shaped not only this piece, but me as a writer. Celebrating the fact that I’ve allowed myself to do the thing I have always dreamed of doing – write stuff.

So thank you, Isthmus for believing in this piece. Thank you Traveler’s Tales Best Travel Writing Vol. 10 for including it in your anthology. Thank you Best American Essays for printing my name.