Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Impossible is...

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There are 4 Westerner foreigners in my town. Of 15,000 people. I figure these numbers are probably on par with every other non-above 300,000 population city or town in Japan. Anywhere between 1 and 10 foreigners.

The odds are so scarce that Japanese people are always shocked when they see us for the first time. Or even if they see us somewhere they didn't expect to find us- like last month when we turned up at the Chinese New Year celebrations. The odds of a Japanese small-town resident running into a foreigner who doesn't live there are probably about the same as you running into Will Smith in a supermarket in France. It could happen, but it's so unlikely it would never cross your mind.

This morning it was snowing and I was late. So I called a cab. Weirdly, I forget my cellphone wasn't working, and I couldn't hear anything, but the receptionist recognised my number and sent a cab to my address- just so you understand how small my town is. lol.

The taxi driver was a guy I'd never seen. A regular cabbie was in the passenger seat. I told him the name of the school I was headed to- the biggest in town. The other taxi driver directed him. There's no way you've been here longer than a minute and don't know where my Junior High is. So I asked him if he was new. He was. In fact, it was his first day, and I was his first fare.

4 out of 15,000 people are foreigners. FOUR!!!

I know that guy didn't ever consider the possibility that the person who told him "Welcome to our town!" would be a foreigner. Because the odds were against it. Way, way against it. But it happened.

The odds are against you writing a story as widely loved as J.K. Rowling. The odds are against you becoming as much a household name as Stephen King. The odds are against you building characters that will cause new words to be coined- SPARKLEPIRE!!! The odds are against you causing a new/forgotten genre to take flight. Against getting a big advance. Against you selling a book. Against you getting an agent.

But that one person who beat out millions of others to win the lottery, they don't care about the odds. It happened. All the matters is that it happened.

4 out of 15,000. How you like dem odds?

6 comments:

Aleeza said...

i love how you compare your experiences in life to writing. and i totally agree with you on this. thinking about how dim your chance is, going WHAT IF im not meant to make it, none of that will help you get closer to your dream. its the idea that the ones who do make it had the same chance as YOU that'll make a difference in the end.
super-duper-awesome post. (as usual!)

The Blue Lipstick Samurai said...

LOVE it. I have a story like this. :D I'll share it some day.

You are absolutely right. The odds are terrible. But the odds that your whole family would survive in an ongoing chain to create you who one day picked up a pen and decided to write are terrible as well; but it seems that book wants to be written, and wants to be read.

From the Mind of Thomasina said...

I love your comparisons. More so, I love the way your posts breaths a sense of hope into my crazy world! Keep doing what you're doing girl!!

Margo Kelly said...

I think that is a GREAT post! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

We must keep plugging away and forget the odds. And someone someday has to be as popular as JK Rowling. Who knows? Maybe it'll be you. Or me.

Sidrah said...

have faith, don't lose hope *wink*