One of the reasons I am so excited about my new book is because during the last seven years everything I’ve tried to do has failed. I worked so hard to get my PhD and then tried three times to be hired as a full time professor only to be passed over every time. I wrote three other books that were rejected. A Christmas cantata that a friend and I wrote has been repeatedly rejected. I wrote the lyrics and narration, and my friend wrote the music which is absolutely beautiful, but we can’t get anyone (even our wards) to use even one of the songs. I can understand why they wouldn’t want to do the whole cantata, but one song? And then there have been lots of other little things that have constantly been very disappointing.
I don’t bring this up so you’ll feel sorry for me. Please no! I bring this up because there have been some very important things I have learned from this experience. I can honestly say I don’t regret one moment of trying. Sometimes in the past I’ve talked myself out of pursuing a dream or a goal because I felt like it was too hard or could never happen. But what I’ve learned these last seven years is that even if you try and fail, you still come out ahead. I’ve learned things I never would have learned any other way. I’ve met new friends. I’ve felt myself stretch and be strengthened and that strength is still mine even though the goals were never reached. It's been like training for a weight lifting contest. I didn't win the contest, but my muscles are much stronger now because of the training.
Learning what I am capable of doing has surprised me. But most of all I have the personal satisfaction of knowing that I gave things my best shot. I did all I could. I don’t have a nagging feeling inside me that I was a quitter or that I might have succeeded if I’d just tried. I did it, learned, and moved on.
So if I seem over exuberant, please don’t think I’m bragging or being too prideful. I’m just happy that at last something has succeeded. But at the same time I wouldn’t change the past. For some reason, it was what I needed.