Very often I write blogs over weeks or months. Sometimes I write them and never publish them. Other times I will publish one months later just because the timing seems right. Months ago I wrote a post about letting our children fail and teaching them how to handle failure with dignity and grace. I never published it. I wasn’t sure why not but I just never felt that the time was right.
Earlier this year I found out about a writing contest and the selected winners would be chosen to present their essays at a conference. I sent in that blog. It was the first time I have ever stepped outside of the comfort zone of my personal blog as a writer. I was chosen as a finalist and I auditioned my piece in person to much praise. I felt really great about my words, written and spoken. But, I was ultimately turned down. I failed. Get that? My blog on failure failed. Ironic?
It didn’t hurt as badly as I expected. This is what I’d written about. Take the failures and use them to become stronger. Since I was already out of my comfort zone I sent that essay off to a website that buys blogs to publish as a part of their large-scale offerings.
Several days later I had a bike accident. A big, embarrassing, crash and slide accident. If you haven’t read about it you can do so here. I was home recuperating when I received the email from an editor that my piece was in consideration for publication. Never mind the bleeding and oozing of my wounds, my blog was in consideration for publication! The editor had several suggestions so I hammered my way through a rewrite in spite of my pain and misery. That week was wrought with much more pain and misery than I had anticipated but I had been in communications with the editor two more times about rewriting and cleaning up my piece. That excitement pulled me through the week.
By the end of the week I was running a fever on top of the ever present pain and eventually sought medical help. I was given a prescription of antibiotics and new hope that the worst was behind me.
I sent my final version of the blog to the editor. Her last email to me asked for an edgy ending sentence and then, as she put it, my piece, “would go over well with their readers.” My ego was over the moon and with the help of an antibiotic my body would soon follow.
Except what really happened was that I broke out in an itchy rash all over my torso in an allergic reaction to the antibiotic. My wounds were still raw and I hadn’t slept well since the accident. That’s when I logged on to Facebook and saw pictures from a party full of the happy faces of the friends of one of my children. My child hadn’t been invited. My body ached and now my heart ached. Maybe this is all why my dinner was dry and tasteless that night and my family didn’t try to hide their dissatisfaction.
But that wasn’t the end of it.
That is exactly when I received the final email from the editor that said something about having run too many essays on failure and, “sorry I can’t accept another at this time.”
I was crushed. Everything felt like a disappointment and failure.
Then I pulled myself together and sent an email to the editor thanking her for her time and expressing that even though I was disappointed it was worth it to feel like a “real” writer for the week. Originally I thought the failure meant that I wasn’t a real writer but it is the act of writing that makes me a writer. Besides, I happen to know a lady that runs a blog and she accepts all of my writing. *wink, wink*
Before bed I asked my children how their days had been. My daughter’s face lit up as she flew into a long, hilarious, story about what she and her girlfriends did at recess. My son caught us up on the crazy shenanigans of his middle school friends. Neither child seemed dejected or lonely. If either child was even aware of being left out of an invitation there certainly wasn’t a show of emotion. I wasn’t going to invite drama into our lives so I never mentioned it and buried it in the “that’s life” file.
The next day I visited the doctor (again) and left with a new antibiotic and a prescription steroid to combat the reaction to the last.
After all that I’m still here. I’m still laughing and writing and looking forward to bike riding again soon.
Now I realize why I hadn’t published my blog on teaching our children to fail. Sometimes I feel like a fake when I share little pearls of life wisdom. Who am I? Just a lady with a computer. But that’s not true. I’m also a lady who has created a lot of her own misery through ineffective thinking and over-reacting. I’m a lady who made the choice to spend a lot of energy teaching myself how to handle things in a way to bring peace and love to my life and the lives of those around me. I could have handled a lot of what life threw me over the last two weeks with a lot less grace. That’s why I blog and share. Not because I’m better, smarter, or think I’m qualified in anything but the School of Hard Knocks. I write because I love you and I want you to learn from my mistakes and create your own happiness. I’m just crazy enough to put my flaws into words so that I can share the beauty of finding love and happiness even in the ugliest moments.
I failed. I’ve failed many times before and I will continue to fail as long as I live. But I have chosen to take those failures, rewrite them into a great story and share them to help others. Maybe I’ll even publish my twice failed blog post for you soon.