Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fear of Rejection

Everybody gets it. Remember that first girlfriend/boyfriend in school? You wondered if the feeling was mutual. Girls had it easier than boys. In my elementary school, we had dances on Friday nights at BullDogger's Hall, which bore a striking resemblance to our school cafeteria.
Teddy Nugabaur (I'm sure I butchered the spelling) was the hottest 6th grader you ever laid eyes on. I remember trying to get up the nerve to ask her to dance. Then American Pie came on and I had to give it a shot. Favorite song, favorite girl, wow...

All she had to do was sit there. I came over, palms sweating, knees shaking, and in my deepest adolescent cracking voice, I asked her to dance. Even Don McLean was proud, his lyrics telling the story of our time. It was a wonderful moment. Had she said no, I think I would have picked a new favorite song...

The greatest rewards usually come with the greatest risk. I had a fantastic streak going, as far as my professional life is concerned. But I find myself once again, with sweaty palms and fearing rejection of a different sort. My first book, FLAT OUT has done great. I love the craft of writing, and I'm trying to capitalize on the success of my first book by trying to put my foot in the door of the publishing industry to have another look at this wannabe with pen and paper.

My goal is to, when asked what I do for a living, one day proudly state "I'm a writer," and to have a few books to my credit to back up such a bold statement. Talk about nerve racking. I could continue on in the manufacturing trade and live my entire life making ends meet and being the responsible father and husband. But I'm the same (outside the box) guy who drives a motorcycle at 350 mph. Taking the safest route doesn't always appeal to me. People said I'd never break the world land speed record. It took me 8 years, two teams, and a myriad of close calls and some disasters, but I did it.

And now I'm working on becoming a successful writer. I hear the same negativity from some, surprisingly, even from close relatives who think it foolish to have such lofty goals. But that's not enough to stop me now. This is the only life we get, and if we don't take chances and strive to find whatever it is that makes us happy, we're just putting in time. Hell, goldfish can do that.

So here I sit, palms still sweaty, a knot in my stomach because I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing, and even though I have support from some, others think I'm crazy. Its a feeling I'm unfortunately learning to live with. Rejection sucks, but giving up sucks more. Eminem's hit, Lose Yourself is the song I relate to today: You get one shot, one chance, do you take it, or let it slip away? Your one shot isn't that if you don't succeed your first time, you've taken it and you move on. The way I see it, your one shot is this life. Take your shot, no matter how long or hard it may be. Rejection be damned.

Nobody said it would be easy...

3 comments:

Murdock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FullThrottle said...

You (along with Emimnem) have hit the nail on the head. We all only have one shot, one opportunity to live life to its fullest.If you never try you could be missing out on the experience of a lifetime. Keep moving forward FullThrottle!!

Debbie said...

You're absolutely right ... it ain't easy. And if it was, what would be the point? Things worth doing take blood, sweat and tears. And we need that balance, otherwise how would we ever be able to tell the good from the bad?

However, I do have to object to your first scenario ... girls don't have it easier than guys! While you were nervously asking Teddy to dance, there were probably ten other girls equally nervous hoping you would ask them, too.

Debbie Ramsey, Author