I Will Prevail! (And Other Things I Tell Myself in the Shower.)

One admonition I can’t seem to scrub from my brain is my mother’s bit about wearing the right underwear in case I’m in a car accident. Maybe your mother used the word, “clean,” when giving underwear life lessons, but mine specified “right.” Her reasoning was if I had on a pair of lacy deals or something even more scandalous, the attending physician in the ER might think I’m loose.

Yeah. That’s going to be a flash of thought for me, I suppose, when the doc is trying to volt me with paddles, and is tweezing shards of glass from my forehead. “Whoa, this chick might not live through the night, but, oh well. She’s got on frilly underwear, and you know what that makes her.”

Whenever I hear naysayer anthems in any walk of life, I have this strange tendency to contemplate the difference between the undies my mom wishes I’d wear, and the undies I do wear. (Yes, sorry, my brain works that way.)

One naysayer anthem I’ve heard relates directly to my newest gig in becoming a published author and venturing into the land of woe and book sales.

What’s said: “Don’t expect much because you won’t get much.”

What I hear: “Wear your granny panties.”                     

Well, you know what? I don’t want to wear my granny panties. And you know what else? I don’t care what I should expect. And I don’t care if an ER doctor thinks I’m loose, and I don’t care if people think I’m chasing unrealistic dreams.

(OK, I actually do care if an ER doctor thinks I’m loose, so don’t quote me on that. I got lost in the moment.)

One thing I do care about is what moves me. I need a juicy little nugget of hope, dangling just out of my hungry grasp. Yes, I know the odds are not in my favor of being a best-selling author. Yet, I still tell myself it’s a matter of when, not if, because anything short of that . . . well, if I didn’t have that particular hope to chase each day, then I’d be lying on the floor pressing a Life Alert button just to see if anyone comes.

I might have failure after failure, never even getting as far as putting one tiny finger on the first stair to success, but I’m sorry, I won’t stop striving and dreaming for more until I’m dead.

(Oh, and when it is my time to go, I hope whether or not the doctor resuscitates me isn’t predicated on my underwear choice.)

What moves you? What are your dreams? What kind of undies do you wear? (Kidding!)

37 Replies to “I Will Prevail! (And Other Things I Tell Myself in the Shower.)”

  1. Hilarious, Heather. But oh so true. I’m often the one who tells myself not to expect too much, but there’s always this small part of me. The part where hope blooms and raises her wings, waiting to soar, just in case the too much part happens. That’s the part that keeps me going and you reminded me to keep that part going.

    1. Exactly! It’s sort of the same rationale when I say I won’t waste my money on the lottery, but when it’s at 600 million, yeah, I buy a ticket. 🙂

  2. I like the hanky panky underwear myself! Heehee!

    I can totally relate though! Here’s an example! One time in middle school, I wanted to run for President of the national junior honor society. A friend of mine didn’t think I should. Thought I should go for something with less standing, thinking I’d be more likely to win that.

    Well, I ran for president anyways. And I won.

    I equate the advice of “don’t expect much” with that girl I knew from middle school. To the nay sayers: Keep telling me I shouldn’t be writing a novel yet, to just write short stories, because I will try even harder and you never know what will happen!

    1. What a great example! I wish I had been as bold in middle school. I didn’t start putting the negativity to rest until I was in my 30s. But, I sure am making up for it now.

  3. Thanks for everything you blogged about, even the underwear stuff. Although hearing about your lacies was intriguing and made me feel a little creepy, I especially liked everything else you wrote about following the call to be an author. Lately God seems to be surrounding me with writers who are encouraging me to keep going. Thanks for bolstering me up.

  4. LOL! How can we survive without our dreams? Sure, I can quit reaching for publication; quit striving to create. But then my existence would be characterized by my horrid day job and a bunch of endless chores.

    Nope. I want a lot more than that out of life. No matter how tiring the chase is.

    1. Exactly! Years ago, I broke through the fatigue by reminding myself that–at least for me–life wasn’t a series of ups and downs on hills, but rather one gigantor hill with benches to rest along the way. Keep going!

  5. Hi Heather! I don’t think I’ll forget this post. You reminded me how 1. writers need to be brave, 2. they need to be honest, 3. they need to be prayerful, 4. they need to not worry about what others think (only God), 5. they need to let go of the past and use it for good, 6. they need to let God dream God-sized dreams in them, and 7. they need to be super creative! : )

  6. What a fabulous post! 🙂 My version was a maiden aunt, who sniffed and told me once as we walked through a mall together and passed The Unmentionables, “can you IMAGINE any of US wwearing anything like THAT?!” She was looking at a perfectly demure pale pink bra with little white dots, the epitome of sin. My 22 year old self, who had discovered pretty lingere in college, was wearing a navy lace number with pink cabbage roses on the silk fabric of the cups.

    And that very attitude SERIOUSLY handicapped my writing for many years – how can I write books if everyone has to be either a Villan or a Saint, who would never say a bad word or have a drink or do anything Regrettable? Took me until my LATE thirties (and the “discovery” of a pseudonym!) to not feel that my entire female clan was reading over my shoulder, tsking in horror at my character’s sins (how could *I* think up such things?!).

    Sorry to ramble, just wanted you to know you really touched a chord with me today! 🙂

    1. Juliana, I FEEL you! And that’s the perfect word for it: handicapped. I wrote an entire manuscript as the type of author I figured I “had” to be. And it sucked! Now, I’m writing the way I know I am, and am getting much more favorable response. True, I have a bit of a polarizing style, but it’s how God made me, so I’m going with it.

  7. I love this post! I recently entered a writing contest and my editor advised, “Don’t put too much hope into this.” But I ALWAYS believe for the best possible outcome. Always. And when (not if) I suffer disappointments, God ALWAYS restores my hope. This is why I have a Lewis Carroll quote showcased on a wall in my kitchen: “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

    Note: Every “good” Christian girl should own a pair of white cotton undies and wear them when traveling to writers conferences. 🙂

      1. Oh, man. I cannot stop laughing. I could post the link to my blog post about panties at writers conferences right here, but I won’t. Let’s such say that my advice would be to wear whichever panties you feel comfortable in as you stroll into an opening session with 600 writers, who are all gasping while you walk to an empty seat in the front with your long skirt stuck in your underwear. Also, reconsider the knee hose. Best Post Ever, Heather!!!

  8. Great post, Heather—very funny and oh, SO relevant. At one point I actually wondered if you were talking about my mother! The voices in our heads (and the voices we LET into our heads) will absolutely influence our ability to be successful (however you define it). But, it’s easy to get caught up in worrying what others think and whether or not we’re on the right path. This is a nice reminder to stay focused on goals we’ve set, dream big and trust there’s a reason for our gifts. (:

  9. Howdy, miss Heather. It’s just a lovely thing to meet a perfect stranger over underwear talk, aye?

    (I’ve blurked around here a bit and today, the underwear day, is when I’ve stepped out into daylight.)

    Anyway, I reckon if a person wore a pair of boy’s spiderman underwear, she (especially a “she”) might cause a scene. I’m not saying that’s what I do, but (or maybe butt) sometimes the laundry lady sleeps in and the kiddo’s unders are the only clean ones in the house.

    What moves me?
    1. Groovy music.
    2. And you all. I like it here.
    3. Too-tight of underwear (see above for details).
    4. Horses. Trucks. Tractors. Cars. Feet.
    5. And to borrow your words, that juicy bit o’ hope. Good night Gertrude, without that, I’d be cement.
    6. A swift kick in the hind-parts. That always moves me.

    Have a blessed day in the Lord. It’s good meetin’ ya.

    1. Good mercy, thanks for the laugh! I have little boys, too, so I get you sister!!! 🙂 It was nice “meeting” you as well. And I love that term blurker. Perfect!

  10. This made me laugh out loud!!
    Funny, with great wisdom.
    If you believe you CAN’T, you WON’T. If you believe you can?

    well, we’ll just have to put on our big girl panties (meaning BE BRAVE) and brace ourselves for however the risk turns out.

  11. So, I was in the ER one day for an asthma attack, and this nurse came by with odd-shaped scissors. He said, “I’m the reason your mom tells you to wear clean underwear”. Not joking.

    1. Funny! I have had my bra and undies cut off of me in the ER. Goody, huh? I’ve read (but not verified) that moms started telling kids to wear clean underwear “in case” because in the “olden days,” if you were to get injured and be hauled to the hospital, they could tell a lot about your family’s ability to pay the bill from looking at the state of your underwear.

      1. Well, that certainly makes sense. Ridiculously biased, but I guess that’s the way it used to be. My poor sons would be wrongly judged, though. 🙂

  12. Enjoyed this whole conversation, ladies and gents! It’s perfect for an end-of-a-long-week post, Heather. Thanks!!
    It took me until I was 50 to feel that I didn’t have to answer to anyone but God (and sometimes my husband). For some reason, so many of us put unnecessary restraints upon ourselves and our creativity, and it takes courage and confidence and faith to tear off those chains. Jesus broke the bonds of death, and it’s our calling to do that in life as well.

  13. Thank you for posting so memorably. Every day, we’ve got to overcome the naysayers and keep pressing on. You put this in such a humorous way that the reminder will stick in my mind. It’s nice to smile while foregoing the granny panties and hanging onto the juicy little nugget of hope.

  14. Loved this! By the way, precisely because there are so many naysayers and dream killers out there, I especially cling to the Proverb, “The desire (expectation) of the righteous ends only in good; the expectation of the wicked in wrath.” It’s all good, when you follow the One who breathed that Dream into you in the first place. At least, it’s all good….in the end. Until then, wear your best panties 😉

  15. Hahaha! Loved the post, Heather! All too true. The way I think about it – yes. I want to be a great, best-selling author. Do I want to become a better writer? Yes! Do I have goals I want to achieve? Of course. Is my life over if I don’t reach those goals and ideals? Absolutely not. Does that mean I stop trying? Only when I’m dead. 🙂

    Thanks for the laugh – and insight!

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