In 2009, I was writing and raising awareness about an issue that was being overlooked by the mainstream media. I wrote an article that was published about this particular issue. Then my life turned upside down and I walked away from my advocacy because it was too painful to continue (for personal reasons).
Today, an acquaintance from those advocacy days announced on Facebook her publication of a book about this issue. I congratulated her and she told me she used portions of my article in the book with permission of the entity that published it. I am fine with that, of course. But I’m not going to lie, it hurt. It hurt because in 2009/2010, I wanted to write this book, but I didn’t. I didn’t and she did.
It has been said that comparison is the thief of joy. I can attest to the truth of that statement today. And it sucks.
I am telling myself that if this was the book I was meant to write, then I would have written it. In fact, this book contains stories that needed to be told. The problem, of course, is that I wanted to be the person to do the telling. But I wasn’t and I have no one to blame for that but myself.
As much as I don’t begrudge her this success, I hate the way I am feeling now. I hate knowing that I walked away from the idea. I hate knowing that I could have pursued it but didn’t. I hate envying her for doing what I didn’t.
If it hurts this much, there must be a lesson in all of this. I can’t change what has happened, so I might as well learn from it, right? I think the lesson is that I should never give up on a story that I want to tell because it will hurt like hell when someone else tells it for me.