“Someone else’s success isn’t your failure,” a person wisely wrote on the Facebook recently. Good advice. Still, at almost 77, I admit to envy. That slant-eyed villain works hand-in-hand with my insecurity. What’s more, my life as a writer fosters self-doubt. Each manuscript I submit to a publisher competes with hundreds of others. I can accept that writers will succeed where I have failed, but the knowledge does little to stifle my insecurity. I’ll continue to ask, “Do I dare disturb the universe?”
Having grown older, however, I’ve learned to I think more about possibility than failure. I could almost convince myself I’ve banished it entirely, welcoming failure as an opportunity to take a new path rather than seeing it as a dead end. Life needs failure, after all. I can’t imagine an existence where I achieved every goal or satisfied every desire without turning a hair. How boring. Life without risk is a form of death.
But to be honest, rather than fret about failure, age has taught me to snatch triumph from the mundane. Last week, for example, my mail arrived with its customary cluster of bills. Among the envelopes was a subscription renewal from Money magazine. To my surprise the rate had been cut in half, from $20 to $10.
Surprised, my eyes sought the fine print. There, it explained I’d been offered the professional rate. Immediately my insecure self piped up. “That’s a mistake. You’re not a professional. You write a blog. That’s all.”’
But my older self took another view. “Of course, you deserve the new rate. You’ve written nearly 2,000 blogs, haven’t you?’
“Yes,” snapped my insecurity. “And who’s read them?”
I decided to listen to my older self. With a smile, I sat down and wrote a check for $10.
(Courtesy of www.teachingcollegeenglish.com)