"But it feels like you just might explode inside/ You've been pacing around and waiting/ For some moment that might never arrive at all/ What you don't have, you don't need it anymore." - "Stay Lucky" by The Gaslight Anthem
That is the first section of my two-part song of the day. I have listened to "Stay Lucky" easily a hundred times, but for some reason these lyrics hit me like a punch in the face when I heard them the other day. Brian Fallon's words have a way of doing that. I was driving to work and thinking about my writing when it occured to me, what if success never happens? What if that moment I'm waiting for never arrives, ever? What if it's not supposed to? It felt like someone had dumped a bucket of ice down my back. Then I heard these lines:
"But you're never gonna find it/ When your knees got so weak/ And it's
right here in case you need it/ Like when you were young/ And everybody used to call you lucky/ When you were young."
Just as quickly as the previous lyrics had hit me, these words made me open my eyes to the fact that if I'm weak, if I'm just sitting around doing nothing like I have been, I'm never going to find anything. I have to make my own luck, because I'm not going to be given a break by anyone else. I'm not a kid anymore and even though so many things came easily to me back then, that's just not the case now. I have the abilities and gifts to meet my goals, and that's pretty lucky. I had forgotten that amid the rejection letters, loss of ambition I fought for a while, and the negative thoughts that often threaten to take over my mind.
I knew all along that if I want to succeed in the writing world it's up to me, but this song put everything into perspective. I could spend my whole life waiting for some luck to drop into my lap that will never arrive, or I can be fully present, work my butt off, and make this happen. I am not a weak person, I can't afford to explode, and I do really need this. So yesterday I wrote. I completed the chapter I had started last fall, the first chapter in Who We Thought We Were, and I'm no longer pacing. I know where I'm going and I know I'll get there. Someday I will arrive.