This post (and habit) was inspired by Courtney’s post.
I have a habit of hiding good news until I know that it is true, without a shadow of a doubt. This stems from repeated disappointment, primarily due to a relationship in which the guy constantly kept me updated (communication is good), but I always assumed that that meant whatever he was telling me was a definite go (because I don’t tell people unless I am almost certain that it is a definite go).
I learned that people have an uncanny habit of letting you down and that I was best protected when I expected nothing. And, since I knew how upset I would become when life failed to go according to plan, I usually waited until I had a high percentage of certainty before telling anyone anything that I considered important. I didn’t want to look foolish if I became excited over anything and then the plans fell through.
I still do that. I feign indifference or even annoyance if someone mentions something that excites me, because I hate these conversations:
“What do you think of XYZ?”
“That would be great!”
“Okay, I’ll plan it.”
“Awesome! I’m so excited!” Around this point, I run around telling everyone that I’m going to XYZ. And then this happens:
“Actually, because of ABC, we can’t XYZ.”
“Oh. Ok, that’s fine.” Even though I feel like my soul may have just died.
And then I met Alan. Maybe it’s the fact that we actually live in the same time zone and actually spend time together (this was a novelty to me), or maybe it’s the fact that I love him more than I ever believed it possible to love someone, or maybe it’s a combination of the two, or maybe it’s the combination of the first or the second with something completely different! Anyway. Regardless, I’ve found myself telling him about opportunities long before I receive confirmation, leaving myself with the distinct possibility that I may have to turn around and later tell him that the opportunity fell through. It’s nerve-wracking, but it spurs me to work harder, to do everything I can to prevent having to admit that I’ve failed at something. I’m working on it. I’m also working on actually acting excited when I am excited about something. That one is a lot more difficult, because I hate being disappointed and it’s so much easier when people don’t know that I’m disappointed — then I can wallow in self-pity by myself! But even that rarely works, because I tend to write it out (and Alan reads it) or I pout (and Alan asks why and I tell him … after an incredibly extended game of “I’m-fine-and-have-no-idea-what-you’re-talking-about-even-though-I’m-obviously-insanely-upset” that can sometimes last until early in the morning).
I decided to apply those concepts to this blog and the writing process (I knew there was a point to sharing bits of my past to people I’ve never met). I’m not just going to write that my writing was published, but that I sent a query letter, that I was rejected, that I’m frustrated but learning from my mistakes (and the millions of things that happen in between). So, without further ado. …
I e-mailed a potential source twice in two weeks and have yet to receive a response (I intend to call tomorrow). I e-mailed a military source earlier this week and have yet to receive a response (I plan to follow up tomorrow). I found a potential source online two weeks ago, typed her name in on Facebook, sent her a message and prayed I sent it to the correct person. I did — she e-mailed me today, and we’re setting up a Skype interview. I e-mailed another source and hope to set up a Skype interview next week, over spring break. I also called a military source today — I was hoping to schedule an appointment tomorrow so I could explain everything in detail (because I pass the source’s office on my way home). However, the source wanted me to e-mail the proposal, first, so I did. And, I e-mailed an editor at a local newspaper.
I pray before I compose an e-mail, before I dial a phone number. I ask God to guide me through the process, to speak through me and grant me success if it is His will for my career. And if it isn’t? I pray that he will grant me the serenity and comfort to accept that fact, and to continue forward without taking the rejection personally. I also write a script outline so I remember to hit my key points (or remember to speak in intelligible English, because that sometimes doesn’t happen if I’m nervous), and display it on my laptop screen as I call.
You will increase my greatness and comfort me again. – Psalm 71:21
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11