A poet I have admired for some years now recently expressed admiration for my work. This alone was enough to send me into the happiest high I could have ever imagined. She went on to say that we were both women of this art (poetry). I could not believe my eyes or my ears. She gave me the greatest compliment I could have ever imagined getting from someone as accomplished as she is, and with her words, she inspired me.
I had resigned to the thought that I was really only good at one thing, and through the years, I was even beginning to doubt that. She didn’t just give me a compliment or two signed copies of her book; she gave me hope. I thought I’d lost this feeling a long time ago. As my educational career advanced, the real world suddenly came hurdling at me. That anxiety, panic and distress began to build faster than I could break it down. Fear is like a cancer: it spreads fast and destroys everything in its path. I was beginning to lose faith in myself, in any talent I thought I might have and most of all, my ability to live my life doing something I love.
The poet I had looked up to for so long gave me all that back. She may not know it, but she renewed my faith in myself and my ability to push forward toward something I am passionate about. She has always been there for me in times like this. When I did not think I would amount to anything because of my limited abilities and skills, she gave me a good talking to and told me exactly why that attitude was wrong. What I love about her talks is that she understands the feeling of fear and doesn’t try to belittle that feeling. In fact, fear is a part of the journey. It’s not a bad thing to feel fear or anxiety; the trick is not to let it dictate your actions.
There is no “thank you” in the world that could be enough to express to her how grateful I am to have her as a mentor, professor and fellow poet. Thank you for renewing a feeling I had lost a long time ago. Thank you for helping me break through a growing panic I felt myself slipping into. Imagine your idol expressed admiration for your hard work and included you in their world. It’s an incredible feeling. Never stop trying. Never ever stop believing in yourself.
You don’t need a note or a compliment from your idol to do this, but it sure doesn’t hurt!