Some times life just hits you with all it’s got. This past weekend, it was my turn. (Luckily I have NJ-SCBWI Summer Conference to look forward to this weekend.) In the midst of the craziness, it occurred to me that as writers, everything is just grist for the mill. Food for our work. Looking back, even children have “those days.” Or weeks – or even years. When you were a child, what made a day a “bad day?” How do your experiences of the storms of life now compare to those of your childhood?
We all love the joys of life, the sunny days eating ice cream at the beach – but it’s the rainy days spent slogging through the mud that help make us who we are. In seventh grade, I spent several weeks being picked on mercilessly by the kid who sat in front of me in English class. One day, I just couldn’t take anymore – and tipped his chair over with him in it. As he sprawled on the ground, the teacher began berating him for disturbing the class. When he blamed me, the teacher refused to believe him and packed him off to the principal. I learned that you can choose to be a victim that day. I learned that you can turn a negative situation to your advantage. (Since I was such a good student, the teacher was more inclined to believe my account over his.) I learned that what goes down must come up.
No one’s picking on me these days. But I am being tested. So right now I’ll keep treading water, and soon enough, I’ll be riding a wave.