Tag Archives: defeat

…You Lose Some

“The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”
– Robert Green Ingersoll

I’m a Loser.

loserThat’s right.  Capital “L” and all.  La-hooooo-za-heeer. (Said in my best Jim Carrey/Ace Ventura voice.)

I often blog about my writing successes on here.  Last year, I wrote about winning first place in the essay category at the Chautauqua Festival Creative Writing Competition.  Then, I went on to tell you about my first published work appearing in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and now I have a second story appearing in another Chicken Soup for the Soul book, which will be available in August of this year.  Pretty awesome stuff, huh?

But you know what I don’t often blog about?  All the other submissions I’ve sent in.  Or better yet, all the rejections I’ve received.  And trust me, there are PLENTY of them.

Yesterday, in fact, I received two rejections in one day.  That contest I won first place in last year?  Didn’t even place this year.  The next Chicken Soup for the Soul book that’s coming out after the one in August?  My story wasn’t chosen.  These are just two loser-ish examples (did I mention they happened in ONE DAY?) but there are many more where those came from.  I sent my boyfriend Richard a message yesterday saying “Okay, I’ve received two writing rejections in one day. Tell me I’m pretty.”  (Yeah, I probably won’t be winning any awards for my sense of humor anytime soon either…)

Why am I telling you this?  Well, after my rejection-filled day yesterday, something dawned on me.  I had some pretty good luck straight out of the gate last year.  Now, mind you, I’ve written all my life – as early as I can remember I was giving poems to people as Christmas gifts (did I mention that I’m also cheap?…)  But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started sharing my writing publicly- starting with this very blog site you’re looking at now.  After the positive feedback I received on my blog posts, I decided to take a chance at submissions.  Lo and behold, I won that essay contest (my first submission EVER!) and then it was shortly followed by a call from Chicken Soup asking to print the story I submitted to them. Whoa! Talk about your beginner’s luck! But soon after those first boosts to the ego, the rejections started coming in.  Magazines didn’t want my essays. I didn’t place in other local writing contests. My blog stats started dropping. And for a brief moment, I sort of felt like giving up.  But you know what?

I didn’t.

And why didn’t I?  Well, I was one of the lucky ones who had been blessed with the feeling of winning.  I knew that just because I “lost” a few times, that doesn’t mean that my stuff wasn’t “good.” It just didn’t get chosen this time.

I kind of have this theory.  I think every life is filled with a certain pre-destined number of wins and losses. And I’m not just talking about writing submissions here.  I’m talking about all that life has to offer – in your professional life, your creative life, your personal life – all of it. They’re not all going to be losses, but they’re not all going to be wins either.  As far as this writing thing is concerned, I was honored with a few of those wins upfront. But in other aspects of my life?  Those wins took a little while longer. I had to go through quite a few defeats before I got to the winning portion. In fact, I’m in the middle of a few defeats now.  But you know what gives me hope?

I know that my time to shine is coming.  I just haven’t gotten to the winning portion yet.

You get it?  You buying what I’m selling here?

We don’t always get the wins up front. But that doesn’t mean they’re not coming. It’s so tempting to give up, isn’t it?  It’s so hard to believe that the good stuff really is out there somewhere.  But it is.

It is.

A few years ago, after my second divorce, I had pretty much decided that a “win” in the love department wasn’t possible.  And then, out of the blue, I met Richard.  And you know what?  That wasn’t a “win” either.  Oh, it is now, don’t get me wrong.  But at first?  Phew.  Let’s just say ours isn’t your typical “their eyes met and it was love at first sight” story.  (Well, it was for one of us…but I won’t get into that right now…)  I could’ve given up on this too.  And trust me, I wanted to. But somewhere deep down, I had a feeling that a win was coming. And you know what?

I was right.

us3Richard and I have what I’ve only dreamed about in the past. I honestly had no idea that a relationship could be this good.  This sweet. This tender.  This supportive.  (WINNING!)  But believe me when I tell you this – it was NOT easy.  I had to take the losses before the win.  Sometimes that’s just how these things work.

I’m so very glad I didn’t give up.  Look at all the love I’d have missed.

Are you going through a loser phase right now?  Hang in there, my friend. I have a feeling a win may be just around the corner.  Just don’t give up before it gets here.

***

“Defeat doesn’t finish a man, quit does. A man is not finished when he’s defeated. He’s finished when he quits.”
– Richard M. Nixon

To the Girl at the Bar

“He’s not your prince charming if he doesn’t make sure you know that you’re his princess.”
― Demi Lovato

Dear Girl from the Bar,

I’m sure you don’t remember me.  But I certainly remember you.  In fact, I don’t think a day has gone by since I saw you over a month ago that you haven’t crossed my mind.

“Saw you?”  Hmmm.  That’s probably not the right term.  “Stalked you” might be more like it.  I could not stop watching you.  You commanded my attention and it has taken me weeks to figure out why that is.  That’s why I’m writing you this letter today.

womaninbarI’m sure you didn’t notice me.  I was the girl sitting with the other wives/girlfriends of the band.  We weren’t typical attendees of this particular bar, so we sort of grouped together in our little corner – just there to watch the guys in our lives do what they love.  But I couldn’t help but notice you.  I’m not sure at what point it was that you caught my attention exactly.  I just know that at some time during the night, I started watching you paying an awful lot of attention to some guy.

Now, see, I’m a people watcher. When I first noticed this attention you were giving this guy, I assumed you were a couple.  Why wouldn’t I? You were draped across him, rubbing his back, standing right next to him…things like that.  But the more I watched, the more I started to see that my initial assumption was incorrect.

This guy just flat out didn’t like you.

I know that may sound harsh, but I have to call it like I see it.  The more you touched him, the more he pulled away.  The more you asked him to dance, the more he seemed to not want to.  You would practically barge your way into his line of sight, and he would physically turn his body so that he wasn’t looking at you.

Now, I know that sometimes it’s easier to see things when you’re “out of the box” so to speak. I know that maybe my vantage point called for a better view than yours, but surely you couldn’t have been entirely immune to this treatment.  Could you?

I even saw you kiss him at one point, for Heaven’s sake. The guy was completely taken aback.  By this point, you had become a laughing stock among he and his friends. Once you turned your back to him, he made a show of wiping the kiss off of his face and laughing with the guys about it.  I don’t know how else to tell you this, other than to just come out and say it…

You made an absolute fool of yourself.

Now, why have you stayed on my mind?  Why have I thought of you almost daily since that night?  Why did your embarrassing scenario strike such a chord with me?

Oh, I know why.

Lord, honey, I’ve been there.  I’ve soooo been there.

Now, granted, I’ve never planted a kiss on a stranger at a bar, per se.  And I suppose I’ve never exactly thrown myself at a guy I barely know. But you know what I have done?

Stayed somewhere I wasn’t wanted.

I have hung around in relationships way past their expiration date.  And why?  Because I was idiot.  Like you.  (No offense.)  I thought if I just tried a little harder, maybe he’d finally see me.  You know?  If I just did this a little better, or that a little better, maybe then he’d finally realize I was worthy of his attention. Of his affection.  But you know what?

It never worked.  Not once.

I wonder what happened when you got home.  Did you cry? Did you wonder what you did wrong?  Did you wonder what’s wrong with you?  Oh yeah, been there.  I’ve looked at myself in the mirror with such confusion and hatred before that it was scary. I’ve picked myself apart…my fuzzy curly hair, my flawed complexion, my crooked teeth. I’ve yelled at myself for being too outspoken, too demanding, too talkative.  Too this.  Too that.  I’ve been more mean to me than anyone else ever has.  And why did I do that?

Because some guy didn’t like me.

Some stupid, inconsequential guy.  I let a stranger’s value of me replace my own value of myself.  I adopted their view of me and replaced it for my own.

What an idiot I was.  What an idiot you are.

Anyway.  I know you won’t see this.  I know you don’t remember me.  But again, I just wanted to let you know that you’re on my mind.  I wanted to let you know that for a moment, our lives crossed, and I saw myself in your defeat.  You reminded me of how I never want to feel again. You reminded me of how ridiculous it is to place my worth in someone else’s hands.

You reminded me that when I’m loved, I’ll know it.  I won’t have to chase it.  It will chase me.

And better yet, you reminded me that the real love I should be worried about – is the love I have for myself.

Thank you for crossing my path.  I hope you learn to love yourself one day too.

Love,

One Who Gets It

[P.S.  You are waaaaay too good for that guy.  He was a dork.]

***

“When your self-worth goes up, your net worth goes up with it.”
– Mark Victor Hansen