Almost 2 years ago, my son and the girl next door, L., had an art show in the breezeway between our apartments. They invited the other neighbors, and while L. didn’t want to sell any of her work, my son was happy to sell his. He seems to think selling art is normal.
L.’s mom bought a Halloween witch and hung it up in her kitchen window. A few weeks after Halloween, the apartment management sent her a letter telling her she had to take the witch down. With apologies to my son, she took the witch out of the window.
My son ran into our apartment, found paper and markers, and scribbled out a pumpkin, coloring it in, giving it a Jack O’ Lantern face. He taped that up in our kitchen window. “They better not send me a letter,” he said. “Because I’m not taking it down.”
“Good for you!” I said. “Fight the Man!”
“What man?” he asked. “I just don’t want the office telling me what to do.” Okay. Things got silly after that, but the picture stayed up for over a year and we never got a letter to challenge his determination.
Sometimes it’s best to be quiet. Sometimes you have to raise a fuss. It’s a talent knowing when to do which.
I’ve been thinking that this coming Tuesday, it might be best to skip my favorite coffee shop. Going somewhere else wouldn’t be a bad thing and might make sure the annoying guy got the message. Maybe by the following Tuesday, he’d have someone else. (Poor someone else.)
Then I think, why should I change for some stranger? Why does he get to go where he wants while I waste time wondering where to go?
But I get that knot in my stomach.
Kind of like that knot I get when I try to write a query letter. I’ve spent hours crafting query letters–reading, researching, writing, proofing, printing, posting… trying to come up with the right thing to say to get the outcome I want. That’s the way it works, right?
Other times, I get sick of trying so hard, writing and rewriting a sentence to prove I’ve done my research, that I’m marketable, that I’m worth someone’s time, when all the while I can’t prove any of that.
And I can’t control anyone else’s reaction to me.