So I was thinking on Tuesdays which tend to be thoughtful days, I'd like to talk about things that people said that had the most impact on my life. Only with age have I truly learned the power of language and how it can affect a person's life, perhaps even the course of their life. Of course it isn't only what was said but how we respond to it that makes the greatest impact. And that is an important lesson because we can't control the things that people say to us, but we can control how we let it affect us.
Today I am thinking back a couple of years in the last week of my old job. I had given notice months ago and yet there was still so much to do, I was lingering in my old job until I finally had had enough and was making it clear I was leaving. I was talking to a colleague whom I shall refer to as Tony, because that is his name. So Tony was asking me what I planned on doing now that I was really quiting. He knew I had been working on my book for the past 5 years so I told him that I planned on taking a year to finally finish my book and try to get it published and because I had so many other ideas for books, perhaps if I was lucky I could make a career out of being a writer. His response was to roll his eyes, guffaw and say "Yeah, right! Keep dreaming!" You know it's funny but for a long time after he said that, I kept dreaming about this same conversation but instead of me shrugging it off, in my dream I keep punching him in the mouth.
Eventually, I stopped dreaming about punching him in the mouth and instead dreamt about actually publishing my book to great acclaim and inviting him to my book lauch party and laughing in his face while waving a stack of hundreds in his face. So unrealistic, I know, but I was dreaming, like he told me to. To some extent his disbelief in my ability fueled me to complete my book as much as my husband's terrific support in allowing me to stay home, helped me to achieve my goal. One positive and one negative all pushed me in the same direction. My husband kept encouraging me to finish, the negative comment gave me the anger to not give up. I finished my book back in June and have been editing ever since. I'm on what I hope is my final edits and plan to begin querying agents in the next month or so. There were so many moments that I nearly gave up. Who was I kidding? What agent or publisher would want my book? Who would ever want to read a World War II military drama about two soldiers written by a girl? All the positive encouragement of my husband and my writer's group would be a great help, of course, but sometimes just seeing Tony's smug face and hearing his mocking voice gives me the extra incentive to keep going. So the moral of the story has been that there is actually something positive that can be taken from the negative. And one day, who knows, maybe the dream will become a reality.
So please share with me those things, positive or negative, that has had an impact on you.