Five years ago, when I began collecting “The Village” I was bursting with enthusiasm. I was working steady on the development and the dream. I was exhilarated. I was going to write a book!
I flew to Chicago and spoke to the best and biggest in the publishing industry. There, while channelling Mary Tyler Moore and with the strength of a lion, I pushed through three days of fierce and unrelenting rejection. I got stronger and smarter. I, too was unrelenting.
I was featured locally, provincially, and nationally. I had my book on the shelves in chain stores and in small shops. “100 Moms” was available in Canada, in the US through Barnes and Noblel and across the world with the help of Amazon. Each step thought to be a long shot. They were all happening.
I did book signings, readings and was featured in several newspaper articles. I became an Author and a Columnist. I was sharing parenting content!
The ‘likes’ were flying in and the comments were full of encouragement. Deciding to write a second book was easy.
In May 2020, my second book was published. Things were so different. There was no jet setting or book signings. No news releases and little give-a-shit. The accolades from others did not rush in and the fan fare had faded.
I worked to keep my spirits and efforts up, yet they waned. I could not find ‘it.’ The social, promotional pieces had left. The anticipated validation from others was scarce. The newspaper stopped production; my column ended. I discovered public approval, or the lack of it became a predominant force in my mood, feelings, and motivation.
I began to tell myself a lot of untruths. I decided the absence of growth in my social media indicated I sucked. It sucked. I gave up.
I held on barely, until August 2020. Then I dropped it. I told myself maybe my inactivity would boost my numbers because my consistent activity was not doing it. I forgot my intention. I lost my purpose.
My purpose was to share parenting content with parents. I was doing that. I was doing that by way of two published books, a weekly column, and frequent posts on social media platforms: WordPress, Thrive Global, Facebook and Instagram. I failed to realize that with each post I was continuing to achieve my goal.
I began spending some time revisiting my original intention and connecting to my goals and to my purpose which, in the end, would be my legacy. All that said and done, I still did not change my behavior and was having little impact on shifting my thinking.
Then I found myself in a discussion with a friend about on-line dating. She confided it was so tough out there, real tough. People are mean and the rejection is intense. I could see so many similarities in our situation.
She, too, was telling herself a great deal of untruths. Not only was she believing and feeling her untruths, but she was also collecting supporting evidence with every rejection and negative experience.
Although she has so much to offer the world and a relationship, the thoughts and opinions of others were somehow more believable to her; more believable than decades of evidence supporting her strength and power. It was then through her, I was able to recognize we were experiencing the same thoughts, the same feelings and the same patterns, even though our situations were different.
It was clear to me she was ascribing a lot of illogical, hurtful, and false conclusions about herself and her future. The vulnerability of it all was too much for us both. In her, I saw me.
As I attempted to encourage her to disregard the thoughts of others and push through the rejection, I could hear myself and the hypocrisy of it all. I had succumbed to both.
We sat in intention for a moment. We talked about the value of hope, the importance of playing, engaging, dreaming, and doing. We talked about having fun, exploring, and trying new things without the expectation of acceptance, popularity or approval.
We talked about doing things we wanted to do, about what made us happy and why we wanted to chance being vulnerable, criticized, afraid and rejected. Why in the world would either of us want to be in such a potentially likely, hurtful world?
We concluded, we wanted to live, to try and to hope. Although rejection feels awful, and after literally hundreds of experiences myself, I can tell you – it has not gotten any easier. Rejection turns my blood to lava and my belly to a kaleidoscope which I just learned is the name for a group of butterflies. Each unreturned email or flat out critique does not bounce off me. I feel it all, even the typos, especially the typos.
Though I feel lava-blood and all the flutters, I also have been on the other side of that discomfort. I have felt the hope and the wonder. I have enjoyed the accomplishments and am proud of my legacy. As a bonus, I have a gained special affinity for each of the 199 parents that took the risk with me. I am honored to have lifted their voices as well as my own. I had forgotten that side of things.
My friend and I made a pact: November 15th we would both jump back into the shark infested waters. We would focus on hope and possibilities. We would take pride in being back in the ocean and concentrate on our effort and our attitude – not the outcome.
So even though our voices quake, our knees might knock, and our blood runs hot – we are back!
To keep us focused and for anyone who needs it, I wanted to put something together to remind us why we try, even though we’re afraid and even though people will be mean.
I came up with a top 10 list because I love top 10’s…
|Why risk it, for me…||Why risk it for her…|
|I know have a high-quality product, but it will not appeal to everyone.||I know I am a high-quality person, but I will not appeal to everyone.|
|When I find the right people, my books will reach their hearts.||When I find the right person. I know I will reach their heart.|
|I do not need a timeline.||I do not need a timeline.|
|I like sharing what I’ve learned.||I want to find my life partner.|
|Hope is better than premature, unwarranted resignation.||I like being hopeful.|
|I rebuilt my life because others shared with me, I want to pay it forward.||I see relationships work for others and I know I’ll find the right one for me.|
|I am building my legacy and accomplishing my goals with every contribution and risk.||I am working toward my life’s goals and I’m going to stay in the game.|
|As long as I’m sharing material I’m achieving my goal.||As long as I remain engaged in my life and my goals, I am where I want to be.|
|I will revisit my intention often and stop the untruths. I will have fun and keep it light.||I will not measure my worth on the approval of others. I will focus on who I am.|
|I will maintain a high-quality product.||I will maintain my character and confidence.|
Wish us luck!