Andie M. Hayes

Author | Artist

Filtering by Category: iWrite

Fear and Reasonable Doubt

So the past few days have been pretty big for me. I submitted to four journals and pitched to five magazines, which for me is HUGE. I’ve been writing for YEARS. Literally years. Maybe since I was eleven or twelve and sure I’ve had some stories published. A few in my college literary journal, one in a friend’s journal post college, but I’ve always been terrified of publishing beyond that. I mean, yes, I am a published journalist. I wrote for a magazine for three and a half years. The entire tri-city area and beyond has read my work so the question still remains: Girl, why are you so scared?!

And to be honest, I don’t have an answer. I guess it’s the same fear every artist has. The fear of not being accepted. The fear of not being liked. The total and complete fear of rejection. Yes, that’s it. Rejection. I’ve only been rejected twice. And both times were when I tried my hand at poetry. Honestly, I knew I’d get rejected. I’m no poet. I’ve never been one and frankly I don’t even like poetry enough to try to write it. I’m an interviewer. A person that likes to get down and dirty with the details. A storyteller. Always have been, always will be.

But, I’m also an artist. A terrified artist. It’s not as if I haven’t been trained properly, because I have. But for some reason the confidence that I’ve needed to show the world my true raw talent never built up the way it needed to. People love my art…they just don’t love my prices. That’s not my fault, right?

Making it is hard. As a writer or an artist. Try doing both. stares. But I’m learning that in order to make it. To really, really make it you really do have to put yourself out there. SO guess what kids! Andie’s been doing some very hard things lately!

First, I’ve been writing and painting like a mad woman (those things aren’t necessarily hard, but they are very, very important to the task at hand). I’ve been researching journals and magazines that fit my art and my endo stories. I’ve been working non-stop with my mom-editor on pitches, cover letters, author bios—things they DO NOT teach you how to do in undergrad mind you. I’ve been eating, sleeping, and dreaming success! I’ve been teaching myself to become FEARLESS!!

I’ve been thinking about those guys that talk about going out there and grabbing success by the gnads, ya know. And I’m doing it. Now, do I know if Oprah will write me back? No! She probably won’t! But, I wrote her! I PITCHED AN ESSAY TO OPRAH WINFREY’S MAGAZINE, Y’ALL! And you know what, I’m excited about it! Not about the fact that she might like my idea (I mean yeah that’s exciting too) but just by the sheer fact that I finally had the guts to do it. I was finally confident enough in myself as a writer to say “you know what, if that girl can do it, I can too”.

And I finally, FINALLY took the leap and stopped doubting myself.

I Never Thought I'd Get Dumped at 28 by Someone I Wasn't Even Dating

So, it took me a while to decide whether or not to write about this experience, because ya know, this blog is supposed to be about books and art and writing. But then I realized, I am a writer and everything that happens in my life is worth writing about. Writing gives me solace. Writing gives me peace of mind. Writing helps me heal. And so, here it goes.

A about a month ago…or maybe it’s been two…my best friend dumped me. You heard me. I got dumped by my best friend. This wasn’t someone I’d only met a year ago and called my “bestie” for fun. This was someone I’d known for five or six years; someone I’d created a real bond with. And so when I was told that we were “growing apart,” I was, in a sense, shell-shocked. I was totally and completely blindsided. I thought we were in a good place. We were planning a trip abroad. We were learning a new language together. We were NOT growing apart. At least from my point of view we weren’t.

From where I was standing, this person was going to be in my life for the rest of my life. She was going to be in my wedding. She was going to be there when I finally published my first book. She was like another sister to me and I assumed she was going to stay that way. Granted, I have another best friend who’s been around since high school and we’ve been through our ups and downs, but this friendship was of a different kind. We’d bonded in a different way; and, I thought that bond was deep enough to make it through anything and everything. I thought that if we had any issues that we could go to each other and talk about them, but que sera sera, ya know?

I’m telling y’all this to say that you never really know what’s going on with someone else. You can think that everything is perfect, but to that other person everything can be a total disaster. They can be holding things against you and you’ll never know it. I was told that my personality is “negative”; that she was “making observations” about things I’d been doing over the years. But I was taught love doesn’t keep account of the injury.

Losing friends in your 20s is a strange feeling. On the one hand, you really are sad. You want to know where it all went wrong and how you can fix it. You can’t help but wonder if things will get back to how they used to be one day. You look for loop holes in the final conversations to see if there’s a chance for that friendship to be rekindled. You miss your friend. But, on the other hand, you don’t care. You want to move on. You want to forget they exist. And if you’re like me, you purge: pictures, text messages, phone numbers, social media, anything that connects you to or reminds you of that person. And then, you tell yourself that you’re better off without them. But are you? Are you really better off alone? Are you even really alone?

When everything first happened, I kept thinking of myself as alone, but then I thought of all the friends I’d been neglecting over the years because I’d let this one friend monopolize my time and life. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. But when you really click with someone you decide, whether consciously or unconsciously, that you want to spend time with them. But then you realize you’re spending all of your time with them; and you’ve let your other friends fall by the wayside until those relationships become superficial and then those friends become mere acquaintances. That’s not fair to anyone.

I realize now that my old friendships need to be rekindled; that I need to put more effort in being a well-rounded friend. I need to put more focus on spending time with more people equally and showing all of my friends love. “Love is all we need,” right? Corny, I know. But still true.

I can’t say that I know I’ll grow from this because there were no warning signs. There was nothing to tell me that things were THIS wrong. Sure, she blew me off a few times, but I thought maybe she really was busy. She had been in the past. There was no reason to not believe the excuses to not do things together. I don’t have a definitive way to know how to grow, but I do know this: letting someone else’s perception of you dominate how you see yourself is not the way to live your life, especially when you know you didn’t do anything wrong. Don’t let someone’s ideas of how you should be dictate how you shape yourself. You are the only one who gets to mold you. YOU are the only one who gets to decide how big or small your personality is. No one else is given that privilege and you shouldn’t give them that power over you. It took me a few days to figure that out but, now that I have, I feel empowered by it, and I need to share it with as many people as I can.

I think in a world like today’s we need to focus on the good in people rather than the bad. By focusing on the bad parts we’re bound to find something we don’t like. We’re going to certainly find some things that aren’t suited to our tastes. But if we look for the good bits, for the parts that reflect qualities we want to see in the world in people, then we will be happier people all around. I’m not being ideological. And I’m not saying ignore the bad parts and only look for the good parts either. I’m just saying, don’t keep account of the injury. Don’t sit and count up the things that have offended you and never, ever say anything to someone until you reach a breaking point. Don’t hold it all in and never let your loved one know what they’re doing wrong or to offend you. It’s rude. It’s unkind. It’s unloving. And it’s being a bad friend.

-A

Do you have any thoughts? Leave me a comment!