A few weeks ago, I wanted to give up on my dream of publishing. A very wise person sat down with me while I cried in frustration and told me all the reasons I should never give up on my dream. Today, with the rain outside my window and the holiday approaching, I find my mind wondering, and I just happened to think about all the times in my life I never gave in, all the times I never gave up.
My mom was a teacher at my school, my kindergarten teacher suggested I would need special education classes for reading in school the next year. That summer I won the local library award for reading the most books of any other kid in my county.
I was seven years old when some of the boys on the pee-wee basketball team said a girl didn’t
belong on their team. I started center.
I was around eight when I was told that I was too lanky and tall for gymnastics and ballet. That didn’t stop me from dancing my heart out.
I was in the fourth grade when I joined the drama team and they said I stuttered, so I wasn’t going to do well at the tournaments. I won my category that year in storytelling and went on to have many successful years of drama team competitions. One of my many scholarships for college was for the Drama Team where I went on to win nationals with a collection of poetry about women’s rights. Oh. And I conquered my stutter.
I was around thirteen when one teacher told me I would never get a poem published. I was around thirteen when I published my first poem nationally winning honorable mention in a contest.
I was fourteen when I was told a student couldn’t change a broken education system. Later that year, the local educators and PTO listened to a group of students led by myself and changed the way they taught us.
I was fifteen when I was told I would never be good at tennis. That person was right. I wasn’t good, I was great.
I was fifteen when I tried out for honor choir and the high school teacher said I wasn’t good enough. She was the first person I told when I got a college scholarship to sing in my college choir. A vehicle that led me to take a day class at Julliard. I was never as proud as when I sang the Star Spangled Banner at a college sporting event only days after 9/11.
I was seventeen when everyone and everything around me changed, as I blossomed from a popular preppy teen to embracing my happily geeky self. It was a lonely road, to be an anime geek “before it was cool,” but I survived becoming proud to be myself.
I was eighteen when people said I couldn’t be in the high school beauty pageant because I was too geeky. I was and did quite well.
My whole life people told me I would never get into law school. I did.
My whole life people told me, I told me, I would never graduate law school. I did, in the top 10 of my class (6th). That’s after major life saving surgery.
My own grandfather told me I would never pass the bar. I did. He went on to say I would never get a job without using his political connections. I got my job myself.
People told me a poor Eastern Ky girl could never be a lawyer, but I am.
There were times I thought I would never survive the emotional Hell of my first marriage, but I did.
There are times the emotional weight of my career is more heavy than anyone who hasn’t done it could ever understand.
The day before I tried my first murder case, a man I believed innocent, someone told me there was no way I could win. I did.
People say plus size and curvy girls shouldn’t cosplay, but I did.
There were times, I was afraid I wouldn’t walk again, but I did.
There are struggles and pain, and life is hard.
But, if I can survive all of this, I can survive a few rejection letters from publishers.
It’s cliche, but there is a time and a place under the sun, and if there isn’t – I’ll make one.