Saturday, March 17, 2012
When to Say When
Really just talking to myself here. Thinking out loud.........
While I have had a somewhat difficult life, my path itself has not been difficult, not at all. You may find this confusing. You know by now that I have overcome some mighty obstacles. You know that I have experienced the likes of hunger and poverty. You know that I have lived in sketchy homes and moved more than any child should ever be asked to move. You know that even my college career was fraught with one brick wall after another, that I went to three different universities, sat out two different terms, worked full-time, went to school full-time, paid for much of my education out of my own pocket. This is old news. You know this. What you don’t know is that despite the seeming hardship, my life has actually been fairly easy.
I have almost always gotten what I want. I am dogged, determined, persistent, and persevering. I decide what it is that I desire, and then I go get it. This plan pretty much always works. I have never been a fan of the phrase, “Failure is not an option.” Failure is exactly why I have gotten to the point I am. I am not a quitter. I am a try-er. It is by trying and failing that I not only learn HOW to get what I want, but what it is exactly that I DO want. I worked day care four days once. I tried. I tried, and I did not fail. I learned. I learned that while I love working with children, I do not particularly care if they eat or nap or play or go potty. What I do care is that they believe in themselves, that they believe in the possibilities in their lives, and that they believe that given the talents and the gifts, they are capable of achieving that which they set out to achieve. I might not have known this had I not tried the day care position and failed so miserably. That failure is what led me to pursue positions, both paid and volunteer, which nurture the mind as opposed to the body.
Failure is a tool. It is a tool that shows me what does not work so that I can better aim my efforts at what does.
Only now I am experiencing a failure that I am not quite certain how to handle. I have sent out my queries. I am pursuing agents. I am putting my writing in front of those who have the power to see my words to print. I am working at becoming an author. I have done this before. I have done this many times before. I have done this before and have failed and have quit. I am not getting what it is that I want. My question now is this, at what point do I say, “Enough already. Enough. I am a writer, yes, but maybe I am not an author.”? At what point do I ask myself if indeed I truly want this, if, in fact, the talent and the gift are there, if I am chasing that for which perhaps I am not especially suited. At what point do I say that maybe this is a lesson in where to better throw my efforts? At what point do I take those efforts and use them in the service of something that truly matters, something that DOES work, something I DO want, something at which I DO have the talent and the gift? At what point do I throw in the towel and recognize this as the lesson it may be?