You know those moments in life that may not seem like much at the time, but end up sticking with us? They stand out in our memories as if they have a perpetual spotlight shining on them, setting them apart from so many other experiences that just fade away as time passes.
I had an experience in junior high that caused me to make a conscious decision to be an independant person. I remember the exact conversation, every person involved and even some of the precise words that were spoken. I didn't realize at the time the impact that decision would have on the rest of my life.
Now, let me state that I think independence is a great quality. It's important to know we are capable people who can accomplish things on our own. However, as we all know, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
At the times in my life when the being dependent/being independent balance was out of whack I have always erred on the side of being too independent. I can look back now and see times when I ought to have asked for help, but didn't - times when I should have let people into my life, but did it on my own - times when I could have offered some one help, but didn't notice at the time since it didn't occur to me that they might not prefer to handle it by themselves.
And when it comes to asking for help? Oh, heaven forbid I might be a burden to anyone. But I'm working on this, have been for years.
Anyway, I stepped outside my comfort zone yesterday. You should be proud of me.
I am close to finishing what I hope is my final edit on my manuscript before I send it out and try to snag an agent. Having never done this before I really want someone who knows what they are doing to look at it and let me know if they think it's ready for submission. Problem is I have no connections in the publishing world, so who can I ask?
Well, earlier this summer I won a 50 page critique from Jennifer Griffith, a published author. We exchanged a small handful of emails and she gave me some great feedback. That's a connection, right? Not much of one, but a connection.
So I sucked up all my fear of being a nuisance and asking too much of someone I barely know and emailed her to see if she might have time to help me out. Guess what? Not only was she willing to help me, a complete stranger, but she actually said she was hoping I might ask her to do this since she liked what she read earlier and wanted to know how the story ends!
When am I going to stop being surprised by how happy people are to help each other? This is just the most recent experience in a long line of experiences that keep proving this to me. Many of these lessons recently have come from ANWA, the writer's group I belong to, because I've had so many writing needs lately, but they are not the only ones who continue to teach me that people are as willing to help me as I am to help them.
Surprising, I know.
Aren't people great?