“Isn’t that what Diane’s doing? I think she’s thinking about hanging out her shingle.”
Dreams spiraling down. An empty feeling in my stomach. Hopelessness. All the arguments I developed to support this unique dream, the illusion that what I offered was needed, and the plans of how to do it fell shattered, to an unforgiving earth. Was I to start over again? Build up something else, only to have that shot out from under me? I felt as useless as if I was trying to invent the wheel in a world used to automobiles. Did I have to keep failing over and over, believing I had nothing to offer?
The world would tell me that. It would say that what I wrote had already been written; that what I wanted to do had already been done. It would inform me I couldn’t be hired because I hadn’t learned a particular programming language or a certain software. There was no market for my abilities, unless I wanted to work for nothing, which was akin to saying that there was no value for anything I could do.
Each company in turn ground me down, telling me whatever education I had was not the right education. The world told me all the slots had been filled, that there was no room for somebody who was older, female, handicapped… the excuses to not do anything collided with the reality that, for psychological reasons as well as physical fact, something had to be done.
For me, the first resistance was when somebody told me a novel I wrote had already been written. I bristled. I based the novel on autobiographical events, on things people told me, and then I pushed it to make it an even better story. Instant deflation. I felt like I had been stabbed, totally invalidated.
Angry at this man’s lighthearted dismissal of something that took over nine months to produce, I responded back. Had Pygmalion been done again? My Fair Lady. And Romeo and Juliet? West Side Story. Were the rewrites any less successful because they paralleled other, older stories? If the authors had not dared to re-write new visions of old truths, the world would be far less rich.
And from that I had to ask, at what point is doing something again an ugly redundancy, and when is it something that makes all of us richer by restatement?
What are you not doing because someone has told you it has already been done?
Copyright © 2011 Sandra Kischuk and Living Beyond Limits. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sandra Kischuk and Living Beyond Limits with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.