Yesterday was a lovely day because I woke up to my two publications in two different magazines. I sipped on my customized hot chocolate in a huge mug with a peppermint stick clinging to its side, as I shared the link with my friends and family. An instant message hit back my phone with the dim buzz which turned into a loud announcement when Siri said: You have a text message from Z.
Eagerly, I opened up my inbox and found one of my classmate’s message saying that her book review also got published a day before in the same magazine as mine. However, she was a bit cringed because they published only a fragment of her review. I found it awkward as well!
To my surprise, I got another message from her instantly saying, “I don’t care if they publish the whole content or a single line out of my passage because this magazine is a flop and anybody can get published in it, getting published in it is no biggie!” The conversation got a bit awkward because I was really content with my achievement, while another person in the same world, by getting published on the same platform was disappointed. Instead of arguing, I congratulated her again and told her that no achievement is big or small, an achievement is meant to be celebrated. So cheers!
I opened up my laptop and started preparing for my Law exam that was to be the following day. While going through the topic of “Human Rights”, something got stuck to my mind and my attention got diverted to the conversation I had a few hours ago with my friend. I realized how she was trying to belittle my efforts and minimizing my contentment and self-confidence. Maybe at that very moment, my mind never perceived anything this way, yet there was a strange awkwardness that my mind failed to apprehend. But in that very moment, that mist of awkwardness faded away and the statue of humiliation emerged from in between.
Actually, when she said that there is nothing special in getting published in this magazine as anybody can get published there, if you really want to get published, you should go for some international magazines, my mind was being humiliated. All the content and confidence that I felt in the morning by the single glimpse of my mail box was gone. Hours ago, I was feeling at cloud nine, while after a few words were uttered, all the satisfaction was gone, all that “I am special” attitude was grounded.
I took out my journal and wrote the “why” of the situation I was put into. The first why that I figured out was “Just because she couldn’t get her complete article published, that is why she said that to me”. Secondly, I figured out the what-if of the situation. I wrote down, “What if her complete article got published in that magazine? Would she still say the same about this magazine?”, while these thoughts died as the night passed away.
A few weeks after, I saw her WhatsApp story that proudly displayed the link of her song review that got published in the same magazine she was bad-mouthing about a week ago. I read her article, and it was amazing and complete this time. Now, I opened my journal again and checked that what-if condition that I concluded that day. All the knots were open now and the clearer picture stood right in front of me. This is the age of survival-of-the-fittest, where we are running a race every day, running with an urge for more and more. Our urge is never ending, in fact it had turned into a Hunger-game. A game where we can easily prey upon others’ emotions, their feelings and their happiness, just to conceal our failure.
Today, I shared the link of my article that recently got published with the title “Dawn of the Ugly Era of Comparisons.” I also shared how beautifully that website embellished the article with my complete bio at the end, unlike the other magazine who just write down a one-line intro of their authors. Shockingly, I got a text message from Z again. She said that you should aim for more international magazines as it is all that matters, these national magazines don’t matter, their publications are futile and a waste of time. I opened up my journal again and started writing the answer:
Everyone in this world is trying their best to contribute a teensy bit in this huge world with an ocean of knowledge. Some of us achieve the brownie points, while the others remain deprived until the right time. However, we all get paid for whatever contribution we make for the betterment of this world.
Why are people trying to humiliate and belittle the efforts that others are making every day? Maybe what is insignificant for them, might be a mountain for the other. Just because we couldn’t achieve something, instead of struggling for that, why do we wish bad luck for others? No matter which platform you are submitting your writings to, no matter which company you are working with, no matter which internship you are doing to earn money, never let others make you feel bad. We all have a different story, we all have different characters and struggles in our stories, we all have a unique ending. If Cinderella had a happy ending with his prince Charming, doesn’t mean you will have the same ending. Your Prince can turn out to be a racist.
Just keep your ambitions high, start step by step, do something every day that brings you closer to your ultimate goal. Remember, life is full of bumps and plains, a few people can become your inspiration while the rest of the world will only point out the fingers at your work, at your achievements. Don’t let others dim your spark, Just keep going! You are doing just fine.
After writing the rant, I closed my journal and wrote this message to Z:
Hey Z, no platform is big or small, no website is good or bad, all you have to do is just believe in yourself and be confident in whatever you do. I don’t care if someone gets his fragment published in “Letter to the Editor” segment of a remote magazine. I will appreciate that as well, because no achievement is big or small, the achievement is always confident!
After hitting send button, I clicked my mobile screen off and opened up the laptop to submit one book review to the same magazine, while sending an activism article to one of the international magazines for the second time. I started with writing critiques in a magazine, and am writing for three magazines at the moment, without any approval from anyone. Let your achievements shine bright like the diamonds, because they are a reminder that you are growing into something bigger and better.
Zarbakht Bilal is a Published Author at DailyTimes, a Blogger, Researcher, Free Lancer, and a Volunteer Teacher at I Feel charity school. She is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Air University, Islamabad. She is cynically optimistic and hopes to bring positivity in this world. She loves reading, writing and to discover the magic inside others. She has a strong motive for the writer’s community empowerment.