Something seemingly impossible happened this week.
Dan and I returned home from a weekend away skiing with the family and I had this little message waiting in my inbox–saying that I won something. I’ve been entering all these contests lately–mostly those ones for a trip to India or whatever that you’ll never ever win–it’s become sort of a joke that I’m determined to win a free trip for us. So at first I thought that’s what it was. But it was even better than that, friends.
I had actually won a writing competition that I almost forgot I had entered way back in October. Now here I am inclined to post about ten exclamation marks (!!!!!!!!!!!!) in order to syntactically illustrate to you how bowled over I was by the words, “Congratulations on being the Best List winner for your entry, ‘The Weekend Warriors Guide to Backpacking the Canadian Rockies.'” I had to read it about 200 times before it really sunk in, and then I just walked around the house repeating, “I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it.”
Now, I know this not the Pulitzer or anything. But it’s been a while since I felt any sense of accomplishment around writing/creative pursuits. In fact I spent much of last year feeling like maybe I would just give up.
I once read someone compare writing/creative work to marriage or a long term relationship. He said something along the lines of, we expect our writing to just fulfill us because we fell in love with it. But the writing won’t give back unless we give to it–unquestioning, generous, fully. Any long term love or pursuit is not easy, it’s not a given. You have wrestle with it, you have to give yourself up to it, you have make sacrifices. It’s messy. And sometimes it’s great, sometimes it sucks, and sometimes, when all the stars align, it’s sublime.
So my writing gave me this little piece back. I stayed up late on Sunday because I couldn’t sleep and of course the little buzz wouldn’t last forever, so I just sat in our La-z-boy and soaked it in. I felt my 20-something year old self sitting on my shoulder whispering, You see, anything is possible.
P.S. If you want to listen to my Radio Show from the other week, you can download it here.