Joy and Celebration: The Best Days of My Life

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Can I back up a minute?

Can I post something else today?

Here's what I want to tell you: two weeks ago my youngest had a very important audition. The fact that it even came about was nothing less than a miracle. It wasn't something she asked for or even anticipated.

It fell into her life like a star shooting from heaven.

She held it in her hands with wonder. And a good deal of fear. This stuff only happens to other people, doesn't it? Like in the movies? Her questions caught me off guard.

I am a master of self-doubt, prone to view the miracles in my life as accidents--meant for someone else because I'm not deserving enough to receive them. Why? Back when I was not much older than my daughter I remember having one of the best days of my life. Everything was going well. I enjoyed a run of success in my schoolwork--things I hadn't before understood that finally came into view--and I'd recently made friends with several kids who enriched my life immeasurably. I asked my mother, "Why is this happening to me--all this good stuff?" Her response was simple and to the point: I don't know. She shrugged her shoulders and walked away.

I stood on the back porch steps and felt like a fool. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb! The impression left by my mother was that it was all an accident and I was a fool to think anything good could be intended for me. I've carried that experience around with me ever since.

Back to my own daughter. Her audition went well, better than expected. When the doors closed behind us she was overjoyed. She'd done the thing she never imagined possible. She'd conquered her fear and come out victorious. She wanted to jump and shout right there in the hallway. I told her no, let's wait until we get outside. Why? Ghosts from my past cast shadows I felt powerless to dispel. By the time we left the building she was feeling the phantoms of self-doubt herself. She didn't jump. She didn't shout.

Last Friday, I completed my YA manuscript. It's been six long months of agonizing over whether or not I was writer enough to do it, to finish what had been burning in my heart, but what had been held down by fear. Fear of failure. Fear of not measuring up as a writer. Fear of so many things I can't even name them all. When the finished novel was ready to go and I hit send I didn't jump. I didn't shout. Why?

I feel joy for myself. I feel joy for my daughter. Why is it so hard to let it out? Still, after all these years? I don't want it to be. I want to be able to celebrate, and so this morning I'm making a choice: chase away self-doubt.

Jump.

Shout.

Celebrate.

Live.

As soon as my daughter wakes up we're going to make this the best day of our lives. The first of many.

9 comments:

Angie said...

What a wonderful post. I can certainly understand those feelings. I have learned that it's important to celebrate even the smallest of victories. I hope you have a fabulous day!

L.T. Elliot said...

Hooray! Congratulations! This is SIMPLY WONDERFUL NEWS! Both you and your daughter should celebrate, live, shout, and jump for joy. You've both done so well. Bravo!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Good for you!!! Celebrate! You're a great writer and don't let doubt creep in and spoil your joy! I hope all goes well for you daughter, too. :)

Lori Nawyn said...

Thank you, Kathi. I sincerely appreciate your comment.

Mallorie said...

That is the only way to live!!! Life is much too short to not wear you "rose colored glasses". : D Men are that they might have joy.

Whitney said...

Great post! I love this -- my daughter and I are going to celebrate together! That's so the way it should be.

Lori Nawyn said...

Thank you, Whitney. I sincerely appreciate your comment. Again, thank you for being a light in the darkness--not only for me but for countless other women.

Lori Nawyn said...

Hi Angie-for some reason your comment just barely showed up. Thank you so much for visiting and for your comments. Have a wonderful week!

Lori Nawyn said...

Laura, thank you so much for your comments! Both yours and Angie's comments showed up just today--don't know why--but I want you to know how much I appreciate you. Thank for your support, encouragement, and friendship!

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