Ponytales

Disappointment Ain’t So Bad

I was about to commence the annual tilling of the garden after listening to Elevation Church’s Sunday sermon when YouTube’s algorithm selected another sermon for me, “The Gift of Disappointment,” by Pastor Touré Roberts. I almost stopped it to listen to meditative beats while I reflected on Elevation’s mic drops, but my mind was in an absorbing state and the title intrigued me. The telepathic algorithm chose correctly, because the message was exactly what my disappointed mind needed.

Making the decision to create a cookbook reserved me a seat on the disappointment train with a red light at every McD’s. A number of times I expected the book would be ready to print and it wasn’t. Followed by a number of times I was promised it would be finished printing, and it wasn’t. Then, thousands of dollars and many editing and proof reviews later, the final copies received were not the proofs signed off on. The amount of work and sacrifice it took to make this cookbook, the amount of energy and patience it took to wait for completion, and the amount of money paid for up front, to have it been completed years later than promised and to not look like what you contracted for is extremely disappointing. And I didn’t always handle it with poise.

I experienced a lot of anxiety, which spread into my personal life. My heart became sick, as Pastor Roberts terms it. I became more cynical of others and outcomes. My thinking favored more towards half glass empty. Fortunately, two of the closest people to me, Alex and Shalee, adopted a half glass full mindset. Their words of continued unwavering belief, and my personal mind training which included a gratitude practice, listening to sermons, journaling and reading, helped keep my faith in the book’s arrival, and in the time it was supposed to.

Sure enough, now with the book here, I understand the delay.

DELAY = DEVELOPMENT

The heart broken woman who posted on Upwork for a Kindle formatter 4 years ago is not the heart filled woman who is shooting Facebook Live cooking videos today. Putting in the amount of work and energy of a 10 person team as a duo to create a 300 plus page self-published cookbook, along with weathering all the setbacks and handling third party conflicts was like Navy Seals training for authors. During the book’s delay, I continued to master cooking by producing hundreds of more recipes, I filmed and posted educational videos, I worked extremely hard at my 9-5 earning me promotions, I learned the new skill of gardening, I upleveled by apartment’s interior design, I got out of debt and into savings, and I braved leaving my spinster comfort zone and put my heart on the line to build a romantic connection. These all contributed to my growth during this delay, especially in resilience, composure, faith, and belief in myself and others.

My development continues in this new season of selling the book. Not that I expected the books to by flying off the shelves like hot cakes, given my lack of marketing, but I didn’t expect the cakes to be in danger of frostbite. However, if the books were selling out, I might not feel the need to change some of my lifestyle habits that hinder my performance. I may not have the motivation to step out of my comfort zone and do a weekly live cooking show. I may not be conspiring with my fellow Navy Seallette, Shalee, the launch of the century.

The book’s delay was a blessing, as I was shaped during this time to lead this brand. It was a self-development promotion, as is the disappointment I feel at times of slow book sales. Pastor Roberts reminded me that God works for us, not against us. There’s still more He needs to draw out of me. There is still more to me. Disappointment is pushing me to extend, to do more, so I can be more.

Can you see how a disappointment you are going through is developing you, or has a disappointment you experienced in the past helped draw something out of you?

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