“It ain’t about how hard you’re hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
I’m a pretty optimistic person—anyone who talks to me for more than five minutes knows that. The Sun’s always shining in my mind and even when it rains it just means if I hang upside-down Mary Jane will come running around the corner.
But even I have my limits.
I’ve been trying to get a novel published by a traditional publisher for the past couple years now and every single agent I’ve contacted has rejected me.
Every. Single. One. At first it was discouraging. Then it got exciting because I realized, “Hey—12 rejections. I’m in the J.K. Rowling club now.” But somewhere between rejection #5 and #35, it hit me.
And for the first time in a long time, I felt like giving up. I don’t have FOMO. But I can’t deny that seeing my other friends dropping an album, landing their dream job or passing the bar infected me with something. And before I knew it, things got really dark, the clouds covered my Sun and everything faded to night.
But this is what I discovered…
The most inspiring place to be in life is flat on your back—that’s where you’ll see all the stars that came before you.
The reality is that we are only here because people in our past didn’t give up. Some of you reading this are the children of immigrants. So your family crossed an ocean, slipped past a border, started from scratch, learned English as their second or third language, worked odd job to odd job, and at some point fell flat on their back. And they wanted to give up. But you are only here because they said, “No. I won’t stay down.” And because they didn’t give up, you can’t give up either.
So if you find yourself flat on your back, wallowing in your failure, remember that you’re in good company. But don’t stay there.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
Mary Anne Radmacher