In a time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey.
- Beck from "Loser"
I started paying attention to this blog in earnest because I lost a blogging contest this fall. I won a whole ton of new and delightful connections with such interesting people that I would not have made through the other blogging gig. I also won the freedom to write my own blog however I want to without trying to fit a particular mold. (As a friend of mine said shortly after we met: "You're not very mold-y, are you?")
I got to create this cake by entering and losing the Edible Book Contest.
|Niel Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book"|
I wrote the poem for tomorrow's post to enter and lose a poetry contest sponsored by the library last year. I won the opportunity to hear an 83 year old man read his poem about attending university on the G.I. Bill after World War 2. It was an amazing poem about not quite fitting in that awarded me the opportunity to weep openly in front of strangers at the library and feel all right about that. I also won another chance to see how amazingly talented some more of my neighbors in this city are. And as an extra honor, I got to participate in a drum circle without any sort of self-consciousness for the first time since college. That particular contest was a big win in my book and I can't wait to lose again this next year.
In all of these and many other little contest endeavors, I have won the opportunity to show my monkeys without words how to take a risk and enjoy the process. I have certainly shown them how to lose gracefully. I have won the best cheering section anyone could ask for in my husband and kids. And I have won the satisfaction that comes with being a part of something.
The sort of people who nod their heads and smugly mouth clichés will tell you "winning isn't everything". I disagree. You just have to know what you've won.