I skimmed through the vanilla colored letter until I saw the sentence, “We regret to inform you that your name did not appear on the list of winners this time.” I smiled.
“Why are you happy?” My brother snatched the letter from my hands and skimmed through the scribbles of black ink. “It says that you didn’t win anything. Why are you smiling?”
“I’m happy because this is just another step. I just took another leap forward.”
My brother gripped both of my shoulders and made me stare into his green lake eyes. “Are you going crazy?” He shook me violently.
“You have to be sometimes,” I reminded him as I pushed his hands gently off my shoulders. I ran upstairs to my room to read the letter again. It did not change. It remained the color of vanilla. It remained a rejection. It remained in my hands and was not thrown away in the garbage.
Stephen King, my idol, had a bunch of rejections before any of his works were published. Ray Bradbury got tons of rejections for his short stories. Many great writers received rejections. Many bad writers, as well. All of them had their first steps in the business of the craft, now, so did I.
I sent in something I wrote not too long ago titled, “In Mind, Out of Sight.” One of the first stories I wrote on the blog. Most people enjoyed the story, so I decided to send that into the Armenian Allied Arts Association (AAAA) Writing Competition. I did not win, I am not sad, and the weird thing was that I was happy.
Night approached as the sun sank back into the ground on the other side. My mother came home from work. She came inside the house with a white letter and a CD in her hands. She handed them both to me.
The letter was from Steve Lassos, “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” who just happened to work next door to my mother’s store. I read his words and ended up with the same smile that happened earlier this afternoon.
“I was very pleased and flattered with the blogspot about me and your experience in the salon. I’ve forwarded it to a couple of people that I know that are either teachers or interested in quantum mechanics, science fiction, and philosophy. For it is said, that it is today’s dreamers that make tomorrow’s realities…” The letter continued to say that the CD held an interview with a man, who was a B-24 pilot and met Thornton Wilder by complete accident during World War II.
The line that stuck with me was, “For it is said, that it is today’s dreamers that make tomorrow’s realities.”
I dream everyday that someday my works will be published. I will have a hardcopy of a book I had written in my hands. I dream and I aspire. I am trying to make that into tomorrow’s reality even though I was hit in the face with rejection. I was hit, but I remained standing.
So, now I tuck both these letters and the CD that I watched inside my folder that has all my kept memories, all my Sentimentals, so that I may remember that I am still on the path. It has only just begun. The first step on that ladder toward the top. How many pegs separate the top from me? Probably hundreds. I cannot see that far up. The ladder seemed to reach toward the sky.
I smiled thinking of the cliché, “The sky’s the limit.”
And so I placed my foot on the second step.