How often to do we plan for the future with the idea that everything will be perfect when that day comes? “I’ll feel good when…I get that bigger house, I get a promotion, I finish school, I lose weight, I retire…” and the list goes on. We have certain goals with a better prospect in mind. Meeting the goal would hopefully be our end result – finally reaching a place where we feel good and our needs are met. And, now, our lives can begin, right?
And yet, the goal and the idea do not always meet up with reality. We fail to see that when we want something so much. You get that bigger house (I did), but now spend twice as much time cleaning it. You get that sought-after promotion, and feel great that you were chosen, but now you have so much more responsibility and spend much more time working. You finish school, only to realize that getting a job is really difficult and you miss the structure and dependability of classes. You work really hard to lose weight and look and feel great, but now must watch every little morsel that passes your lips. It’s not what we expected!
My goal was (and still is) to be a writer, and I guess I am because I write. I write things that I share with no one (because, really, no one would want to read them). I write things like this that get put out into the unknown and possibly help someone, and I write other things in hopes of getting published. Now, my goal has moved on to publishing a book, and it has not been easy. People talk about getting rejected over and over again, and that it is my experience so far, too. My “idea,” however, was that I would write that book, try hard, get it out there and it would be published! (This is where the heavens are shining down upon me and I am
looking up radiantly with a smile.) That is not the case.
I was only thinking about the end result and the “happiness” that it would bring me. I didn’t (and probably still don’t) factor in the difficult parts when imagining this “writer/published author” life. And does anyone? If we thought about all the adversity we will face, would we attempt anything? I probably wouldn’t. I often suffer from that unfortunate flaw of giving up really quickly when something doesn’t work out immediately. I try to work on that, not only for myself, but because I see my daughter doing the same thing.
So, what then, persevere and all that? Carry on? Fight to the death? I guess it depends on how much you want it, whatever “it” is. And it also means being realistic when you sit down and think about this goal, factoring in the not-so-fun parts, the rejection parts, the this-is-not-what-I-expected parts, then keep checking in with yourself to see if this goal is still something you want to pursue. I am not saying, “it’s tough, so give up” but I don’t think stubbornly continuing when your life and goals have shifted is worthwhile. How many of us have said, “I’m doing this, even if it kills me!” Is it really worth all that much in the end? Maybe not.
As for me, I will continue to submit my book, and more than likely, continue to get rejected (“Thank you, but that project is not right for us at this time”). I don’t have a timeline yet as to when I will stop and start considering just publishing it myself, but I do have a better idea of what it takes to be a writer and to show up even when I don’t feel like it at 5:30am. It’s certainly not what I expected, but from what I have learned in life so far, when is it ever, really?