I follow Mary Carroll Moore’s blog on writing. Her posts have the best insights about writing and the most helpful writing exercises that I have ever encountered. But her recent post called “Acceptance and Rejection – Balance in the Creative Life” not only struck a chord with me as a writer, but with me as a rejected wife.
Like a novel that’s been rejected by publisher after publisher, I have been rejected by person after person. The divorce felt like the last straw, like an accumulation of rejection that is more than I could stand.
Mary wrote in her blog that discouragement comes from “the process of losing heart, losing perspective.” That it’s hard for writers to recover when their work is rejected — “It’s hard to imagine how you’re going to move forward, especially when you read other (wonderful) writers and sigh with the impossibility of being that good.”
I compare myself and my life to the women who have long-term, happy marriages. I compare myself to the woman I was replaced by. I compare and I wonder what’s wrong with me. Comparison — it is the root of all evil, the creator of dissatisfaction and low self esteem.
“As creative artists, we want our work to be viewed and appreciated, but this by itself won’t keep us going. We need to do it for the love of it.” Mary wrote.
Maybe the same goes with living our lives. Rather than seeking approval and love, why not just do what you do for the love of it?
I went out with a couple friends this evening and part of our discussion was about feeling more and more invisible as we we age. And how we just want people to see past the outer shell to the glowing, adventurous, interesting person underneath the not so young skin. That may be the hardest part about aging, the not being heard or seen as the people we really are. But then my friends see me. They “get it” and that’s why I love being with them.
I’ve been making a list of what I’ve always wanted in a partner — my dream guy. Not with the intention of searching for a person that matches my list, but of becoming the person that my list describes. I seem to come up with a more meaningful inventory by doing this rather than just trying to think about “goals” for myself or what I want to do and be. Because consciously or subconsciously, the things I long for in someone else are characteristics that I value. How can I expect a person to be something that I myself am not? Plus I believe we draw to ourselves and we draw out of the people already around us whatever it is we are putting out there ourselves.
Mary Carroll Moore described the process of revising one of her manuscripts to the point that the changes she was making had larger implications, requiring changes throughout the book. It’s frightening to move forward, not knowing exactly how it’s all going to turn out. But as Mary wrote, “There’s the joy of developing skills–if you keep on keepin’ on.”
I can see how changes I’ve made in my life have mushroomed in unexpected ways that have nothing to do with what I initially set out to do. This is sometimes frightening, but does make me curious to see how it will all turn out.
At times, I can recognize some positive things that have come out of the changes in my life, like wonderful new friendships and continuing to push myself to new riding experiences. Other times, it’s not so evident or easy to see the good that exists. But the hope and promise are there.