My adopted sister recently beckoned me, "Come out every once in a while, the world needs a glimpse." I can always count on her to pull me from the shadows, back out into the warmth of the sun.
I've been feeling like a panda lately, a bit shy and reclusive. It's easier than jumping back in with both feet and reclaiming my space in the woods.
But as I write this, I realize that she's right. If I don't stand up and make my presence known, I too may have to face extinction. The truth of the matter is, you can't sit on the edge of the bamboo forest in this business. You can't consume everything around you, faithfully knowing that the supply will be replenished, and life will continue to carry you forward.
The publishing business is like a steam roller. It doesn't stop when you get tired or overrought with anxiety. It continues on without you, evolving quickly with each passing day. Your seat on the train gets further and further away, until someone new jumps on board and takes it. Then you're left standing at an empty depot, wondering if there will be a vacancy on the next one that pulls into the station.
Too much time away can ruin a career and sometimes, a friendship. So, thank you my sister, my friend, for reminding me that your world isn't quite as bright without me. Something as beautiful as a panda should step out into the clearing and look up to the sky.