Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Don't Spend Your Life Weeping for Things Lost

I woke up this morning with things aching that haven't ached since the last big snow of last winter.  Shoveling snow will do that to a person.  Of course, it never helps that I broke my collar bone 17 years ago...  Seventeen years ago today, in fact.  At about this time (because it's two hours later in Michigan).  Maybe the pain is a sense memory of that day.  If so, it would be the only memory I have from that epic body-smooshing, brain-bruising car crash. 

But I don't want to dwell on that.  It happened a long time ago and I'm not the same person I was then.  Seventeen years has a tendency to do that to most everybody, but it was a quicker process for me.  In fact, by the time I came back into my head on January 24th, I was already a fairly changed woman.  Smooshing and bruising will do that, too. 

I guess what I wanted to say, in relation to that, was don't spend your life weeping for things lost.  Nothing gets accomplished that way.  I could've sat on my ass, let everyone do everything for me, and bemoaned my fate.  Lord knows, enough people wanted me to*.  If I'd done that, though, I'd still be walking with a cane and working as a clerk in some plant store in Michigan. 

And if I spent my time crying about the things lost in my writing, I'd still be sitting with one book finished and another half done because I just couldn't make myself write in the face of all that rejection. 

Just like making myself learn to walk right again, the process is so painful sometimes I want to lay down and cry.  Just like re-learning my multiplication tables again, the process is often so frustrating I want to scream and thrown things.  And just like the night my then boyfriend admitted my shiny, red scars made him nauseous, the process can be so disheartening I want to curl up in a ball and quit trying.

Acknowledge the pain and move on.  Acknowledge the frustration and move on.  Curl up in a ball, if you have to, and cry until your chest aches - but MOVE ON.  No matter how hard it seems, moving on is the only path to succeeding.

Because if you do spend your time weeping for all the things you've lost, you might miss your chance for something really great. 

Onward and upward, Folks.  There's nothing to see back there.

*Not my family - who were totally awesome through the whole damn thing.


  1. Wow, what an inspired post. Great life lessons here, learned from something traumatic. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow - thanks for this post, B.E. You already know that I'm recovering from a rejection (one of many) and your comment about being stymied, unable to move on, touched a nerve today. I am that person.

    But moving on i the only way to succeed. Thank you.

    And congrats on moving on yourself - it takes a strong, determined, confident person to live through what you did and take the steps to move on. Most would have withered. Most would have sat on their ass. I had no idea you had gone through such hell!

    Here's to the future :)

  3. What a beautiful post. I'm sorry that happened to you, but it sounds like you took it and turned it into a defining moment for you and your life.

    And also, you are a fantastic writer, so I know that your querying will not be in vain.

  4. Such an inspiring post. Thank you for sharing it.

    I admire your determination.

  5. I love the honesty and inspiration in this post. Coming off a significant lost, I can say I totally agree about walking THROUGH the pain/fear/whatever and not getting stuck! HUGS

  6. Oooh...sounds so painful! Yikes! But what a wonderful post to create around the pain. Thank you so much for trusting us with your story!

  7. Wonderful lesson! Learned in a very painful sounding way so boo on that...

  8. Amen. It's so important to move forward. Learn from the past, sure, but there's nothing to be gained from dwelling there. Great post!

  9. You are strong and an inspiration. And you're beautiful, scars and all. I hope you know that!