Having Faith

It’s amazing to me how much of my life requires faith—and I’m not even talking about the religious kind—but faith to apply for jobs that I sometimes feel like I have no business applying for; faith to try new books and new opportunities and meet new people, knowing some will work out and some will not; faith to write books knowing that I will fail many more times than I succeed and that others, in many cases, won’t view my work with nearly as much enthusiasm as I do; faith to write reviews and send them out onto the Internet and into the blogosphere in the off chance that someone might find my reviews helpful, or even slightly meaningful, or possibly if I’m really lucky, enlightening; faith to continue to trudge ahead when I face one brick wall after another, where one bad day seems to roll into the next and before I know it I’ve faced a week of bad days; faith to trudge on when the odds are stacked against me, and when it feels like the entire world is looking in the other direction.

What I’ve learned is having that much faith is a truly rare gift, and that even if I’m filled with that much faith, or confidence, that I still have my doubts, those moments where it feels like it will all go to hell, but it won’t really matter because no one is paying attention anyway, and I can make whatever mistakes I need to make, and that ends up being another great gift: the opportunity to fail miserably without the whole world watching. Just when it seems like I’m at my lowest point, and there’s no way I can move up from the bottom of the glass, I realize that people really do care, that they are paying attention, and maybe I can’t measure it, or quantify it, or even extrapolate it and place it on a graph, but it’s there just the same. And while encouragement from others is a great and wonderful and beautiful thing, the best strength comes from within.

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