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!