Lessons From The Past
The new year has got me looking backward. Reflecting on years long since passed, I have come to a point in my life where I am having to make some realizations. A few of these are quite painful.
- There is always going to be some one who doubts you. – It hurts like a knife in your heart when someone tells you that you need to look into more steady employment. It rips you to shreds when someone tells you to find a real job, never realizing just how much work…let alone how much of your heart and soul have already been committed to what you are presently doing.
- Of all the world full of critics, you are going to be your worst. – Hearing so many voices shoot you down, the one that you are going to hear the most loudly is none other than your own. Reading your own work you poke, pick, prod, literally dissecting your every written word until all you are left with is that undeniable urge to wad up your work into a little ball. After that it is time to practice shooting hoops into the waste bin. That is the most horrible and common death for amazing ideas.
When I was in high school I had no shortage of 1 or 2. Yet, somehow… I kept writing, so much so that regular entrance into creative writing contests was a bit of a routine. I did not know it then, but I had the right idea! As much as the lack of support hurt, as deeply as it broke my heart…I kept going.
Those efforts were rewarded. I had at least two poems published during my sophomore year in 2011. For a season, I was even recognized as one of the top 10 poets in the Southwest.
Well, to make a long story short…I stopped believing in myself.
I am honestly not sure what exactly did it. As time went on, I stopped entering contests. Writings slowed, and gradually began to become fewer in number. Somewhere though, somewhere along the line I have come to see how empty and incomplete my life is when there is not a pencil, pen, or some kind of means to write at my disposal.
In all honesty, it is a part of who I am. Writing is a part of me. Good or bad, I am bound to it. Now too, I realize the only thing that is stopping me from getting out there is ME.
It is not all the doubters. It is not the lack of support. In the end, it is entirely up to me to tell the story. Not anyone else, because no one else has my stories.
They each have their own stories to tell.
If you are questioning your ability, all I can say is…
You may never come to know if effort is first not applied.