Wordy Wednesday (“On ‘Not Getting What You Want'”)

Today’s Wordy Wednesday isn’t a short story, or a poem, or a novel excerpt. Instead, it’s me rambling on and on and on about how much life sucks sometimes, and how I work to overcome it when it does. Sort of.

Yeah, just keep reading.

Love you guys! Sorry this is coming in so late, tonight!

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Back in middle school, I came to the conclusion that when you don’t get what you want — should it be an award, or a job, or even just the respect of someone you look up to — there are two ways that you can go about reacting.

A: You can say that they’re right. You can agree with the failure, never set out to try anything ever again perchance you should fail again, and then basically just amount to nothing.

OR

B: You can say that they’re wrong. You can disagree with their judgement, try your hardest to overcome this obstacle they’ve thrown at you, and maybe — if you’re lucky — amount to something even greater than what you would have been if they’d give you the award/job/respect, after all.

Tonight, something happened that disappointed me greatly. I spent a good part of the evening on the verge of tears, because after all of the work that I’ve done for the past four years of high school, giving my all was not enough to accomplish the goals I set out to accomplish at the beginning of my freshman year.

… And let me tell you, it really sucks to be striving for something for four years of your life, and then not get it. It sucks to run, run, run — sprint as hard as you can toward something you want — and then come up short; to realize you weren’t running fast enough or hard enough; to realize that despite the fact that you have risen above and beyond the expectations of others, you still fall short of your own.

Tonight, I was reminded once again of my shortcomings (like they aren’t ever-present in my life, anyway), and I was reminded that no matter how hard I try, I will never be the smartest, or the most dedicated, or the most talented of my peers.

I was reminded of all the different things that make me insecure, that keep me up at night thinking, that make me want to write… which, ironically, is what I fell short on.

You know: Writing. I fell short on writing. It’s the thing that, more than anything else, I’m always falling short on… Probably because I have such lofty goals for it, but still. I hate how I always feel like it’s my weakest area, despite the fact that it’s supposed to be my greatest strength.

— You know why I write? Because I can’t imagine doing anything else with myself for the rest of my life. I can’t imagine a world without a floor covered in notebooks and loose leaf paper, pens and pencils and well-worn novels.

Writing isn’t just something that I do. It’s my life.

It’s not a decision. It just happens.

And for some reason, that isn’t good enough. Attending conferences, taking classes, constantly learning and growing and stretching my writing, stretching myself to be better than I thought I could be… it isn’t good enough.

So here we come to down to Choice A and Choice B. Do I give up, because I’m not good enough? Do I say, “They’re right. I suck at this. I need to burn my novels and never try to write anything ever again”? Or do I say, “They’re wrong. I might not be good enough yet, but I’m growing. I could be good enough eventually. I could prove them wrong eventually. I need to get back to work right now, strip it back to baseline, zero, and start from scratch and build myself better this time”?

Choice A sounds easier, but it’s also a lot more boring and it doesn’t sound like a very fulfilling lifestyle to strive after. Choice B sounds a whole lot harder… but when writing just happens, when it’s something that you don’t have control over, when it’s just as natural to you as breathing… then the choice has already been made, hasn’t it?

You’ve got to keep pushing on… I’ve got to keep pushing on.

So despite the disappointment that was tonight (overall, I’ve just been having a really awful day), I’m going to keep going. I’m going to keep writing, and editing, and querying until I find the right novel, and the right draft, and the right agent.

And no matter what anybody else says, they aren’t going to stop me. Because this is my dream, and it’s my decision to keep going, even when I don’t get what I want.

It’s my decision, and I choose Option B.

 

 

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Thanks for reading!

 

~Julia

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