The thrill of victory is a taste that we shall not soon forget. The reason it is such a thrill is because we do not experience it on a regular basis. It comes in doses that spaced out over a long period of time. People who try their hardest only to lose constantly are often handed the title of being a “loser.” They dare to put themselves out there and make themselves vulnerable when everybody sees them struggle in a public fashion. For much of my life there was not a great deal of self-esteem considering that my victories only came in the form of a merciful teacher who would give me something like an “Unsung Hero” award and then there were the Participation Ribbons that everybody else received to avoid the bruised feelings that are so brutal in childhood. During my two years at Sleep-a-way Camp I was usually the one who had to clear the table every single time considering I always lost the “Clearing Games.” These games were different each time, but if someone happened to be the last one holding a spoon to their nose or touching the napkin dispenser then they were the poor souls forced to clear the table. Aside from the very rare breaks of reality…I had accepted my realities of being born to lose all the time.
My losing streak continued well into the college years. Despite having an incredible college president and plenty of advocates, I often felt bitter about having been denied the luxuries of fraternities and romantic partners that my peers seemed to enjoy. There were times during my senior year when I eagerly made the trip to the Turning Stone Casino to play Blackjack for hours. This seemed to be the one place where the odds entitled me to win once in a while. But the thing is that I would lose far more times than when the cards occasionally added up to the elusive 21! Even when I actually won, it did not necessarily mean that I won. There were a couple of times when the dealer actually had Blackjack, too.
The greatest victory of my life came after countless rejections. When I was attempting to find a publisher for my first book, a lot of letters were sent out to literary agents along with self-addressed, stamped envelopes (SASE) so they could send back a decision. There were letters that came back every single day. All of them were rejections. At long last, one agency expressed some amount of interest. In April 2007, an agency in Stockbridge, MA told me that a lot of my first draft did not work for them, but they were willing to give it a chance if I were amenable toward creating new material. I eagerly began writing a brand new book to make them happy. I had a long ways away from actually publishing my first book but still felt lighter than air for the rest of the day and brought my local bank a box of gourmet chocolates in the heat of the moment! What is most interesting about this victory is that it took place on Friday the 13th of all possible days. My new literary agent told me that in her family there is an omen that Friday the 13th is lucky for Jewish people.
I have learned that it is impossible for someone to dream their way through life or rely completely on luck. Our dreams are truly going to take a lot of passion and actual perspiration. The current victory that I wish to achieve these days is losing about forty pounds and then coming into the post office with a Superman costume and filming it to be posted on YouTube. Hopefully the fact that it is finally summer will make a huge difference in my level of motivation. My family is going on a cruise in less than a week and perhaps the adventure will offer a chance to begin exercising in an exotic setting. I just have to think of a massive reward to give myself with each ten-pound increment of weight loss.