The year of 2017 is swiftly coming to a close, and there are some things I have been meaning to say. It is so easy as a blogger to cut the shadows from your life, presenting a perfect portrait of your everyday. It is easy for us on social media to only post of our exquisite travels, our accomplishments, the expensive places we may have the honor of passing through. It is easy to put on a smile and say everything is fine. This is what we’re used to, right?
I’d like to think I’ve been quite honest on my social media outlets, but I imagine most of you think I’m always happy, always reading books and writing these lovely stories. You may think I’m successful due to the places I go, or the things I post about. You may not think of any of these things, but either way, I’m here to tell you the truth.
Here’s the truth:
I’ve gotten over fifty rejections for the story I love with the whole of my heart with only one partial request. And if we’re counting the first version of that story, then I’ve gotten probably over one hundred rejections—maybe more. To this day, I still get rejections. “Dear Authors” from agents I highly admired. And every time, it hurts and I wonder if I’m strong enough to keep doing this. How many more stories can I pour my heart into, only to be rejected.
How long can you keep doing this? I’d think. Do you have the strength for this?
I failed my driving test because I slowed down at a turn to check for pedestrians. My love for driving turned into a fear after a few flubs afterwards. To the point where I felt anxious getting behind the wheel. Something I loved and looked forward to turned into another fear. Another failure.
Another rejection, I’d think. You failed again, and to think you were so confident.
Early this year, I fell into a depression. I felt betrayed and used by people. I felt like I was never going to be able to write a novel again. I felt like I wouldn’t be strong enough for this career I have been vying for the last three years. I felt like I would become a miserable person stuck doing jobs they don’t like just to get by. I felt like a failure in every single sense of my life.
Nobody wants to be around you, I’d think. You’re not going to be anything.
I tried to tell myself to be strong, to keep trying with jobs and people. To keep opening myself up even if it meant getting hurt in the end. That’s what brave people do, and I wanted to be brave. But guess what? In most of those cases, I ended up getting hurt in the end. Over and over and over.
Why do you keep trying? I’d think. You’ve lost your mind.
My writing dwindled. My reading practically stopped. I considered deleting my bookstagram and taking a break from my blog. I wondered if maybe all this time I was wrong. Maybe I was chasing after a ridiculous fantasy. Maybe reality has been shaking me this entire year, telling me I’m wrong. That I’m a fool for believing I could be capable of something so magnificent.
What’s the point of anything? I’d think. Why am I here?
Well, here’s the other truth:
I’m only eighteen-years-old, and I’ve written three manuscripts. I have drained every piece of me into these stories. I have laughed and cried with these characters. I have known true love with my fingers on the keyboard, sinking into worlds woven out of the threads of my very own mind. I have made magic, and magic doesn’t need to bare itself to the world in order to exist or matter. Magic is magic, and I have made it and I will continue do to so, no matter how many rejections I receive.
I’ve traveled to the place I based my first novel on. I’ve had my stories and my love for writing carved on my skin. I’ve watched the sun and the moon kiss. I’ve walked among nature, watching the horizon melt to gold. I’ve felt snow for the first time. I’ve flown among the clouds, watching the world shrink to mazes and puzzles.
I’ve grown comfortable behind the wheel once again and now drive my mom just about everywhere, blasting my indie music out the windows in the heat of the day and the dead of night. I’ve made the car my own, plastering it with stickers of the things I love and interior edge (because I’m just so edgy).
I have the privilege to work mere blocks from the beach with my sister, who is my best friend. I am one of few people who is able to say I’m doing exactly what I love—photography, my other passion. I’ve had my pictures used on websites, blown up into posters, and passed around on social media. I’ve brought so many smiles with my work, and it has warmed my heart everytime.
I’ve met some amazing people. People who I can actually call friends. People who check in on me, ask how I’ve been and listen to me as I rant about what I’m feeling. It doesn’t matter if they’re across the world. They have been there with me through it all, lifting me up instead of pulling me down as so many people have done.
I have a great family that I can rely on. That will help me when I’m in need and be there for me even in my absolute worst of times. They will give me hope for something greater. Something better. They will cheer me on, even when I fail again and again.
I’ve realized what’s best for me. I’ve realized I deserve more. I’ve realized that it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to take breaks. It’s okay to wonder. It’s okay to doubt. Because the truth is, what you truly love will come back to you every time.
And the truth is, we all love different things, and even the things we love most can drive us to what feels like insanity. But in the end, you will always know what is truly right. Even if it takes time, I promise you will know.
I’d like to say I’ll be more active now. I’d like to say I won’t worry about falling behind on my yearly reading goal. I’d like to say I’ll rewrite and edit my third manuscript and have it done by the end of the year. But that just wouldn’t be the truth.
The truth is, I don’t know, but I’m going to try. I really am. And I hope, whatever any of you may be going through, I hope you will try, too. I swear, it’s worth it.
And if you’re feeling down, if you need a break, that’s okay, too. Be sad. Be angry. Be disappointed. But please, remember how it felt to love something. That is what you are living for, those moments of true love that can be found in everyday life.
So don’t be fooled by the perfect pictures on Instagram, the bloggers who travel the world, the Tumblr boys and girls with pristine rooms and closets. Every person is a real person with real problems. You’re not alone in your struggles. Don’t ever be afraid to reach out and talk to someone, because there is always another who knows what you’re going through and can aid in guiding you back to a positive place.
Thank you to everyone who has stayed with me through these low times. Thank you to all of you who choose to support me. Thank you to those who remain with me through everything. You have made me the strong woman I am today.