The Odds Do Not Define Me

10D55C40-46AA-4499-9A34-56C37D892E85If I said I have never wanted to quit, I’d be lying.

I’ve wanted to throw the book. Rip the pages. Delete every document. Erase every drawing. I’ve wanted to give up more times than I can count.

When I lay awake at night with all the thoughts and voices circling my brain until I feel dizzy and disoriented? I don’t want to think anymore.

When I stare at a page and can see the characters in front of me, characters of my own making, kids that are MINE, and I see them slowly fade? I sit and I cry and I don’t want to write the story anymore.

When I see my book not living up to my expectations, and it’s not reaching far enough, and I’m not where I want to be in this life? I get discouraged and I just want to quit altogether.

Sometimes I feel like it’s not worth it.

But then I meet little girls that were like me.

Little girls that aren’t interested in dolls and dress up. Little girls that are interested in adventures. Little girls that would rather paint a picture than their nails. Little girls that see a challenge and say “You think I can’t overcome it? Watch me.” instead of caving to the odds that are not in their favor.

Odds are a funny thing.

They go up, they go down, and they change every second of every day.

And despite all that changing, they have never been in my favor.

And that’s discouraging. It’s upsetting. To realize that my book may never make it, that I may never be recognized as a real author, and that I will probably never get to release all my stories, that’s… sickening. Disheartening.

And boy, does it ever make me want to quit.

But on those bad days, I think about one little girl specifically.

A little girl who HATES sitting down. Who HATES slowing down. And who REALLY HATES writing for school. One day she ran up to to me and grabs my hand and looks into my eyes and says “I want to be like you someday.” When those big eyes light up as she grins and tells me “I want to tell my stories. I’ve already started writing them. Wanna see?”

I think about when her mother walked over to me with tears in her eyes, hugged me tightly, and thanked me for being a role model and an inspiration for her young daughter. She thanked me for being a hero.

In my eyes, I am none of those things.

I’m not even a small percentage of the odds!

But then I remember.

Neither is she.

Her odds are even smaller than mine. She is seven years old. She tells stories, and writes little stories.

But there is a possibility she may never publish that story. She might never even FINISH that story.

The odds are not in her favor.

But she is not a matter of the odds.

I am not a matter of the odds.

Giving up has always been in the back of my mind. Just forgetting it, and moving on to something new that I can actually succeed in. Something that could help sustain me. Something that could help people.

But that is already what I do.

If my writing has changed the life of ONE person, it’s worth it.

If my writing has raised awareness for mental health and true American history, it’s worth it.

If my writing has inspired a child to shoot for the stars, it’s worth it.

If my writing has ever even crossed the path of a single person… It. Was. Worth. It.

I am already helping people.

My voice is a drop in an ocean. A small star in a galaxy of billions, all burning brighter than I.

But my voice is NOT insignificant.

It is NOT impossible to be heard and seen.

A small voice is NOT an excuse to go silent.

The odds for giving up are huge. The odds for making it are tiny. But I choose to defy the odds, and not be defined by them.

Giving up has never been an option.

I write, I stand, and I fight. I continue. My story is not over. My words will be shared. My voice will be heard. My small star will burn brightly for all the boys and girls, men and women, children and adults. My small star will burn to encourage those who, like me, never have had the odds in their favor.

Because we can make it.

We can defy the odds.

Sailing off on another adventure 😉

-Lorryn Holt

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