by Sherma Webbe Clarke | @sdwc8181
Life lessons are everywhere. Sometimes strangers teach them.
Two years later, I wonder what rung he has reached on the ladder of stardom. Is he performing at the Grand Ole Opry? Is he paying his dues at a Lower Broadway establishment? Or maybe he’s working in a hardware store and living in his parents’ basement surrounded by boxes of his broken dreams. I'll never know, but I thought he was bold and fearless, qualities he’d need to be successful in the music industry.
As writers, we are just as vulnerable when sending our words out for the scrutiny of readers as a musician performing in front of curious passersby on a bridge. I wondered—am I fearless? Am I persistent enough to pursue my dreams?
At first, I comforted myself with the fact that I had participated. I had tried something new, and for a moment, I felt content. Then I overanalyzed my contribution. Why wasn’t my play good enough? Why didn’t I…? Should I have…? For the next two weeks, disappointment grew, and I wrote nothing. Not even a shopping list. My bubble had burst, and I felt more unsettled than I’d like to admit.
Why do we push aside all of the positive reinforcement we receive to focus on one negative comment or experience?
Then, a church member asked about the competition. “I didn’t win,” I answered. There had been only one winner and the rest of us had lost. Boo-hoo. “So you tied for second,” he said.
If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?
In other words, pursue your goal with power. Every day. Every time. With all your might.
Sometimes I wish I could talk to the singer on the bridge. And maybe thank him for that moment in time. He is a reminder to “do it with all your might” no matter who’s looking or what Discouragement might whisper into my ear. I needed the picture someone taking a step toward a dream to lock into my memory bank for the days I’m tempted to give up on mine.
Big or small, what step have you taken this week to bring you closer to a goal?