I bought a bottle of wine called The Ultimate Longshot a few weeks ago. I am drinking it tonight. So now my drunk-ass self has some things to say.
I bought it because I was drawn to the bottle. Apparently, post-separation me makes purchasing choices based on being drawn to shit. My favourite purchase, post-break-up, has been a shiny pink wine bottle. I bought it in November for New Year’s in my new teeny-tiny apartment. I drank 3/4 of it on New Year’s Eve, then it lived in my fridge for many weeks. Finally I finished it and cleaned it, and now it is a beautiful candle-holder. I love it so much. The reason I think that it was so important for me was that it felt revolutionary to spend $30 on a bottle of wine– for myself only, at that.
But enough about that pink bottle. I recently bought a different bottle from Cali called the Ultimate Longshot, and it was not $30. I think it was about half of that. I bought it because existing as a creative in the world feels like an ultimate longshot. Not to mention, writing a whole freaking novel, spending hundreds of hours editing and revising, then foisting our darling into the hands and spirits of agents and publishers.
So here I am: an ultimate longshot. Story left to be told.
But even longshots hit their mark sometimes. And the more you shoot longshots, the more likely your shot will end up where you want it to go. And we can listen to the advice from others who have taken longshots and succeeded.
Thing is, a lot of things feel like longshots when you’re looking forward at them. It’s easy to doubt your ability as you are holding your bow and preparing to shoot. You don’t know the outcome, so it feels scary and uncertain.
But after you’ve done it, you forget how much of a longshot it seemed at the time. You become inured to the risks you’ve taken and succeeded at, because you already now know the outcome. Just like when you watch the Hunger Games movies after reading the books about a thousand times, it’s not as terrifying. Replaying a story once you already know the ending feels predestined, so instead of trying to remember what you’ve already done, remember how you felt while you were in the middle of it. Then remember that you did it, and it worked out fine.
It’s important to remember that you, in this moment, are the culmination of all of the longshots your ancestors took. Your being here, reading this right now, feels inevitable to you. Yet you are the realisation of your ancestors’ dreams. You are the result of all the risks you took and failed, and all the shots you succeeded at.
You are here, right now. And you are trying. And you will keep trying. When you think about all the risks that have succeeded, all the risks that have stacked up to get you here, success starts to feel inevitable. And once things start to feel inevitable, you move forward with confidence, unafraid.
So here’s to me, and here’s to you, following our dreams. May we continue to take longshots, and keep shooting until we hit our mark.
Featured image was created by the author, using elements from canva.com.