There are moments in life that loom in the crosshairs - leaving you breathless with anticipation. Will I hit? Is my aim off? Instead of the bullseye, am I tracking for the mediocre alternative?
Sometimes the fear of failing overcomes the hope of success. Sometimes it feels safer to drop your bow, step back, pretend there is no target. I'm just fine right here, thanks.
I know that feeling. I lived there for a long time.
You see, in my late teens I took a shot at the publishing bullseye and missed the target completely. A single failure convinced me it wasn't worth trying anymore.
But then, almost nine years ago, I pulled my metaphorical crossbow out of the figurative attic where it had been collecting dust. I'd begun to hope again. And dream two very big dreams.
Last week, after several false starts, a few obstacles and a couple failures, the first of those dreams came true: My family has traveled half the globe and returned to Oregon. We're now living just a few miles from a bunch of the extended family, and a morning's drive from my parents. My son has been hanging out with his great-grandfather. And I'm cooking in my late grandmother's kitchen.
The first of my two big dreams has finally come true, and I've taken some big steps on the path to the second.
Last September I signed with an amazing agent. Brittany has already gotten my book in front of some big editors.
And now, we wait...
After all the years I've already been waiting, this last hurdle is hard to be patient about. It's hard to stand still, staring down the barrel at the thing I want, knowing I might take a shot and miss.
But if the last nine years have taught me anything, it's that failure only comes from lowering my weapon. When I keep my eye on the sight and keep pressing forward even when my arms are shaking, dreams can come true.
So, today I'm thanking God, because I'm one target down. Only one to go.
I didn't get the bullseye first time. So I made another arrow and I'm lining up to shoot again.
I'll let you know if I hit.
Your turn: What keeps you going, working towards your goals, even when it's really hard?