And it’s been years and years and years.
I make 11:11 wishes almost every day.
For the past few years, my 11:11 wish has been the same.
Until it came true one night inside a Walmart.
After that night, the next 11:11 came around, and it took me maybe ten seconds to think of a new wish.
I was working on my novel at the time, and it was nearing what I believed to be the end. My wish for that night was for someone to see its potential and publish it.
I didn’t finish that novel for almost a year, and I’d been working on it for several years prior.
When I wasn’t making the same, deep, personal wish, I had spent this year and a few 11:11’s before wishing for this novel to be published. I knew I couldn’t just will it into existence (though that would be the dream, wouldn’t it?), but it was my baby, and I put all my faith in it. So, I wished.
The novel will be released this upcoming summer.
A publishing company picked up on it (after a myriad of rejections, which I handled like a champ), and decided it was one of the books they wanted to publish next year.
I cried and cried, mainly because this book means the absolute world to me, and now people were going to get the chance to read it.
But this led me to my next 11:11. And when it finally came around, I didn’t have anything to wish for.
I typically use my 11:11’s for my own personal wishes, and it felt weird not to have one. I didn’t end up thinking of any that night.
But I’m not here to talk about not having an 11:11 wish.
I’m trying (because I’ve been desperately wanting to put it into words) to talk about what happens when a wish or a dream comes true.
I’ve had severe depression for many years now.
This is something that has absolutely become an enormous part of me and my life, and I’ve been okay with talking about it for a while.
Earlier this year, I had a very dramatic life change. I dropped out of college abruptly, moved to another state, got a new job, started at a new school, and began weeks and weeks of intensive therapy for six hours a day at a hospital.
I was in one of the lowest places I had ever been.
So I threw myself into my writing, and I spent every second either working on something new or perfecting my query letter for my soon-to-be-published book.
I kept telling myself, every night when I made this wish, that once someone said ‘yes’ to my book, my life would be better. I would feel better.
And, as I’ve said, someone did say yes.
But I didn’t feel better.
There’s this whole big thing around how we have to strive every day to reach our goals, and we should be goal-oriented, and we should always be working, and we should always be chasing after something, and we should we should we should.
But what about when we reach a goal? When we do something we didn’t think we could do? When we can’t use the same 11:11 wish anymore?
What happens then?
That’s something I’m still figuring out.
Now I’m stuck in this weird limbo where I have no idea what to do with myself, while at the same time, I’m trying to reach other goals I’ve created.
Hearing that ‘yes’ made me ecstatic, but it was short-lived. Of course, I’m happy with what’s to come and the process itself, but my brain’s stuck on the phrase: “I’m getting my life’s work published. What now?”
Everyone will help you with the journey to reaching your goal; there are millions of articles out there about that. But what do you do once the goal is reached?
You keep going. You reach for the next thing.
You enjoy the happiness it gave you in the moment, and you find the next project to begin working on.
Reaching my goal didn’t automatically cure my near life-long depression or anything like I once thought it might. And that was a slap in the face for me.
It’s tough realizing that a really good thing won’t suddenly make all your problems go away, but it’s also necessary for you to keep going in terms of other ways you can bring yourself/find happiness.
And maybe someday the happiness will last longer.
If You Want to Get Through NaNoWriMo, All You Need Is Speed
Don’t edit, don’t stop, and don’t slow down