What Makes Me Smile
Posted on December 13, 2016
You all know about writers, right? And about how we always seem to be able to swerve towards the precipice of doubt? If not… Trust me. We’re really good at it, veering off course and sliding head first to the ledge.
Or at least, I am.
Doubt lassoes me like a seasoned cowboy lassoes a filly. It usually catches me when my brain’s in overload. Like these past few days, while I was in the midst of translating half a million documents, busy pestering friends left and right to battle red tape with me, working on a book proposal, trying to ward off the anxiety brought on by a myriad omens that bode for a devastatingly harsh political climate, fretting about the manuscript I just sent off because a trusted publishing friend told me it could do with some serious tightening.
That’s when doubt throws its rope and yanks me to the edge. That’s when I start thinking no one’s waiting for my words, that my lines are no more than inconsequential chatter, that my dreams are not worth pursuing.
That’s also when I know that if I wedge my feet in every rock ridge I can find, every stratum, every layer of sediment that sticks up, I can keep myself from going over and have doubt nix my dreams. It does require me to open my eyes so I can actually see the things that make me smile again, find the things that restore the trust in myself, the things that can cut the cord and set me free. Not always an easy task with my penchant for the dark. I try anyway.
So when doubt hurled its merciless rope at me again, I forced myself to look up. And there was the dear friend who took me to the beach and made me smile. There were my two guys across the pond who believe in my dream. There were my downstairs neighbors who hugged me close and restored faith.
And then there was this guy today standing on the corner of a street downtown with his sign, reminding me why I can never give up and that made me smile, too.