The rejection was written in less than 144 characters:
Not Interested (STOP).
Like a tweet or a modern-day telegram.
I stare at the words, my mind spooling backward to earlier in the day: Asheville crowded with summer tourists, a confused woman in a blue Camry in the wrong lane. I opened a gap in the relentless traffic on Merrimon Avenue and let her through. She plowed forward, oblivious to everything but her own panicked disorientation. Where’s my wave? I thought.
I wave at the hopeful part of me, the part that really wanted this, and give myself an hour for sad and disconsolate.
Not Interested (STOP).
‘Cause if I know anything, it’s this: wallowing in the dirty water of your failure only gets you a bladder infection. It’s a good way to waste a life.
I could break your heart (and you could break mine) with stories of our rejections, our failures, our almost-rans and not-quite-good-enoughs.
But hear me on this:
Let it ignite your desire.
And then you do what desire dictates: you move toward this thing you love. This thing that drives you. You find a back door, an open window, a never-before-used path.
You re-find your self-faith by putting one foot in front of the other and recreating your world.
Twelve hours later I have 3 new proposals sent.
This is success.
Tell me about a triumph. Tell me about a time (past, or present, or future) when failure fueled you forward. Comments are below!
Blogging is an act of faith.
Three years ago, when this blog graduated from random occurrence to weekly newsletter, I didn’t realize I was making a commitment to noticing the curious and the intriguing, the magic in the ordinary, the way the light reflects off a dew-splattered leaf or the scent of rosemary in the afternoon sun.
I didn’t know that in bleak moments when life seems annoying or painful or heart-wrenching, I would still be finding lessons and bright spots because I had made a promise to both myself and you to create something worth reading every Sunday morning.
I didn’t understand that blogging would become my act of communion, first with the world around me and then with you.
Writing has forced me to live in wonder.
It’s shown me how to keep the faith—to confidently approach each week knowing that at some point my imagination will be sparked by something worth sharing, something worth the time it takes for me to write and the time it takes for you to read.
It’s only this morning, lying in a borrowed bed at my sister’s home overlooking the Mediterranean, watching myself watching the world waiting for a moment ripe enough to become story, that I’m realizing this devotion I’ve created, realizing how I’m devouring details—the jasmine planted strategically beneath the open bathroom window, the word play as my niece and nephew switch fluently between English and Hebrew, the avocado green of the pistachio ice cream at the local gelateri.
Last night I looked around the table as we had our usual rambunctious family dinner, noting that “family” includes a childhood friend who is often willing to make the long flight from New York to join in our Israeli gatherings. Will this week’s blog be about friendship?
I think about my sister, who growing up wanted nothing more than to buy my parent’s house in a small suburb near Philadelphia but instead married into a foreign country, became unexpectedly bilingual, and is now a favorite teacher who can’t walk ten steps down her town’s ancient shopping street without being waved to, hugged, flagged for a quick chat.
Will this week’s blog be about brave choices when there’s an unexpected fork in the road?
I never know what I will write but I do know that if I pay attention it will come to me.
So I keep the faith, pay attention, commune with the world around me.
What I realized this morning at 3:30AM, jet-lagged and headachy, is how friggin’ grateful I am for this practice. Knowing that I am going to write, come headaches or out-of-town guests or wedding anniversaries or trips overseas, and knowing that you are going to read, keeps my life wonderous. It keeps me paying attention and in the game. This is why I blog.
So thank you. You are part of this equation and I hope that in the reading you too are sparked and your capacity for noticing the sensual world expands, that you begin to know both yourself and the world around you more deeply.
Tell me—what are you noticing in your world? What is lighting you up today?