Wednesday, January 13, 2010

WaW- Mas vale estar en la cabeza del raton...

...que en la cola del leon.

It's a Spanish proverb, which means, " It's worth more to be in the rat's head than in the lion's tail."

This proverb came to mind while I was thinking about something I saw in a movie yesterday. Recently I've been all over dance movies, so I watched Center Stage. At the beginning of the film, people audition to become a part of a ballet academy, and the film follows their year at the school. Before they have their first class, the director asks for the new students to raise their hands. About 15 hands go up. Then he asks for those who were the best at their last school to raise their hands. The same 15 hands go up!

It reminded me of my secondary school days. In primary school, I was top 3. Literally. I was one of 3 kids who alternated between coming first, second and third, every term. Every Single Term.

Barbados still uses the Common Entrance exam. You Brits will know what that means. For every one else, at the end of primary school, there's an exam and you go to a school based on your score and the school's you chose. The ranking is decided by the choices of the parents. If every single parent picks a certain school as their first choice, then only the top ranked kids get in. I got in to the top ranked school.

I immediately went from top 3, to just another kid. Head of the rat to tail of the lion.

Because of the intense competition, classes didn't have positions. But individual subjects had places. I don't think I ever came first again.

That's what it feels like trying to break in as a professional writer. I've been through years and years of being told how good I am. I've won prizes- at my college in the US, at my college in Barbados, and even at a national level on the island, yet managed not to even get an honourable mention in an online contest with THIRTY entrants last week.

It makes me think...

Is it really better to stay in the rat's head? I could easily be the biggest fish in a little pond.

Or are there perks of the lion's tail? Maybe one should take it as an opportunity to learn, to compete, to grow.

And maybe, just maybe, one day, I might even find myself up there with the J.K. Rowling's, the James Patterson's, and the Stephen King's. A household name. In the Lion's Head!

1 comment:

arlee bird said...

You never know. Talent is pretty important, but sometimes fame and fortune is pretty serendipitous.