West Charlotte High School - Home of the Lions

West Charlotte High School - Home of the Lions

Okay, so I’ve been working in the “Fast Draft” mode for the last week and a half. I also have revisions of my chapters to do, and, to be fair to my critique partners (both local and online), I have a fair number of critiques to get to also. All this happens and the words last night just stopped flowing like somebody had shut off the spigot.

For some reason last night, I started thinking that I’d never get finished, that I’d always be stuck right where I am. And I was wallowing in my self-pity like a pig in mud.

I mean, I don’t even have a job. Aaaaahhhhhh! And all this stuff kept me up last night, when I could have been getting my sweet beauty rest so I could face the pages again today. And I got up (like I usually do when I can’t sleep) and went to sleep on the couch and watch TV where I wouldn’t wake up  RR (Raider Red = my hubby).

And geez, it really came out of nowhere.

I have nothing to fear. I’ll be okay in this, I’ll make it through and see my way to success – because I’ve done it all before.

Let me explain.

When I was in high school, I left home at the beginning of my senior year (okay, I was kicked out, but let’s not bandy semantics). I spent my entire senior year of high school sleeping on a couch at a friend’s house. I would go to school, go to work (gotta pay for medicine, gas, clothes), come home at about midnight, do homework, and sleep on the couch in the den. I was always so tired, I barely remember my senior year. But I made it, even taking honors classes, and got into college 1200 miles away.

1200 miles? No problem. I packed up the car and drove to Texas. Now – how should I pay for that?

By myself, of course. I worked full-time and took out student loans. I lived in roach-infested apartments and worked 2-3 jobs at a time. I remember once, a building where I was working the graveyard shift as a security guard was having a food drive for the hungry, and one of the guys brought a box of pancake mix. I asked him if I could have it (same thing as giving to the hungry, ’cause times were lean.) He gave it to me and I ate pancakes for a week.

Six years later, I graduated from college – the first person in my family to do so.

So when I think of it, that was seven years of nearly indescribable hell. Lack of sleep, lack of a social life, lack of spring breaks, lack of all those things that we probably consider “normal” to the life of a high school senior and college student. I had sacrificed all of it for the greater good – my diploma, my degree, and most importantly, my independence.

So as I lay on that couch last night (trying to fall asleep to “The 13th Warrior” on DVR) I thought about that year I had spent on that other couch, and what I had sacrificed to succeed where so many other people in my situation would have failed.

And it wasn’t my brilliance that saw me through to success. It was sheer determination, long hours of exhausting work, and a refusal to quit even in the darkest hours.

I love my couch – then, and now.

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