Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why My Life Is Like A Reality Show

Tonight Survivor begins a new season. For those of you who don't get American reality TV, Survivor is the show where 16 people (give or take) are dropped in the middle of nowhere and left to fend for themselves with little more than a knife - and a bag of rice if they are really lucky. They compete in goofy obstacle courses and games and vote each other off one by one.

It's one of my few TV addictions. It's a silly one, I know. And most of them I start watching thinking, "This isn't nearly as good as last season," and I can't remember anyone's names, but I keep watching, and by the end I am completely hooked again.

I'm not sure what it is that keeps me coming back. Perhaps that side of me that wonders if I could survive living in the wild without food or shelter.

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, this was the thought that went through my mind. If a plane went down and I ended up stranded on some island in the middle of the ocean, I'd die for lack of insulin before I starved. I wrote that into my book because it was such a vivid memory of that day, and my sister called after reading it and said, "I can't believe you remembered that!" Turns out, she thought that exact thing when she was diagnosed twenty-five years ago.

Perhaps I keep coming back to the show because it's more than physical survival. It's about who has the mental and emotional fortitude to stick with it when the going gets tough. It's a bunch of people watching the others around them voted off one by one and saying, "It's not going to be me."

Which brings me to my own life.

I have closed the writing and revising phase and opened the querying phase. And I feel like the plane has gone down and I am fighting to be the one left standing.

Last time around, I gave in around 16 queries. Like telling the jury, just vote me off. I'm tired of doing this. This time, I'm hanging in for the long haul. No giving up so easily. It's time to shimmy up to the reward table and swallow that fetid fish or giant scorpion. It's time to swim that obstacle and row that canoe until my arms are about to fall off, because I am not giving up this time.

The people who survive are those who have what it takes, and baby I've got it. And no one can convince me that getting a few rejections is harder than sleeping outside in a monsoon and going without food for thirty days. I could do them both. That's my story, and I'm sticking with it!


  1. My husband is a Survivor addict. A true armchair fan--he wouldn't last an hour with the bugs and dirt. Nope, he prefers to sit back with a beer and some chips, laughing and judging season after season after season after.....

  2. At least your husband admits it! Mine ridicules the show, but I think he's more an addict than me. He's always the first to know everyone's names.

    Yeah, the fun of the show really is in making fun of the people! I'd like to think I could make it but I can't even clean out my sink drain without gagging, and that spider on your blog.... heebie, jeebies, baby!

  3. I've actually not ever watched it...does that make me a dork?

    But hey - I can donate my watching to you, so you can tell everyone you're watching it for a friend that can't see it. So you're covered.

  4. no,no. not a dork at all! I'm the dork, I think!

    hey... aren't you supposed to be relaxing and enjoying your night off celebrating?