Okay– I know it’s obnoxious to post a photo of yourself when you weighed 119 pounds and all your dreams were coming true, but I want to use this newly dug out photo for my grade school alumni news as a tool of inspiration. This photo was taken in 1981 at my grade school graduation. That smile depicts THE LAST official “Glory Day” of my life (excluding obvious things like my wedding and the births of my children)……until I got my book published. In the realm of personal achievement, that was my Mt. Everest. I won the drama, art, writing, and speaking awards. That stack in my hands contains the proof.
In the 29 years to follow, there would be a desert in this regard. Nothing grandiose to put on my resume. So what, I wrote and completed 14 NOVELS. So what. Nothing to hold in my hand and show off. And the spiritual scum that ensued had me in knots.
On April 1, 2010, I had the next installment of “Glory Day.” I had a book published. But it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I spent the day in a NYC hotel room with the stomach flu. Cosmic humor abounding. Because as much as I wanted to be the answer to that dreamful girl in that white dress smiling and believing that the rest of her life would be one long drawn out “Glory Day,” I knew that glory days are myths. And that success lies inside us. Even and especially if we’re sitting on the couch with greasy hair feeling lumpy. Or throwing up in a hotel room on one of the most momentous days in our lives.
We create something, people do or don’t relate to it. We move on. And we create something else. Success is an illusion. But happiness is real.
To that end, I’ll tell you a secret. As much as the below picture is of me feeling the temporary bliss that comes from achieving a dream…it’s really just a fleeting moment. So to those of you who are beating yourselves up with your dreams, go easy on yourselves. Do what you need to do, create something you are proud of, and let go of the result.