Girl next door



I was filling out a submission form to a literary agency some time ago which
asked whether there were any special circumstances in my background that
would help get my book sold. Did I have a difficult childhood? Was I affiliated with
any major organization? Did I have a PHD? Did I have a particular secret that
would stun the public? Did I do public speaking? Etc, Etc, Etc

I felt annoyed. What it sounded like, was that if I was not a professor of some
sort, an ‘established’ leader in my field, if I had not discovered a new theory, or
had the latest political scandal, then there was nothing ‘special’ about me. If I
was so unknown, I should at least have had some sad childhood story that would
captivate readers! After all, people are always looking for stories of hope and

(Sigh) So I began typing: – I live on the small Caribbean island of St. Lucia, by all
accounts, a third world country. I grew up in a lower middle class family of ten,
raised by a farmer and teacher.
I stopped.
Deliberately trying to make my past seem so grim was depressing. And as
motivating as this can sometimes be in print and on screen, it was not very
appealing to me to sell myself as that person.
Didn’t I love my life? Hadn’t I had a great childhood? Don’t I love my island? Am I
not proud of my parents? I am not embarrassed about my past. Do I
really want to try to fit into this mold that may not even accept me?

So I abandoned my search.

What makes me different?

The fact that I am ordinary. I am an average young woman who face the same
challenges as everyone else. Growing up, I experienced the same setbacks and
faced temptations no different from a teenager in Europe. I have risen above
the major difficulties the same way I overcame the minor ones, with faith and

Perhaps I want to show the world that you do not need to be a The Dalai Lama to
be happy. You do not have to hit rock bottom, or go through an earth shattering
crisis to change your outlook on life. Many times when we look back on the
things that transformed our lives, we are surprised that it was something as
simple as a fleeting thought or a conversation with a stranger.

Perhaps, I want the girl on the street to know that as much as she can be
transformed by sorrow, there is much to learn from Joy, love and the good things
in life. Perhaps I want to share how my ordinary journey has turned out to be an
extraordinary life because I have been able to connect with people and life itself.
Perhaps I want to prove that it is only through sharing – sharing your thoughts,
your gifts, your possessions… your life, that you learn the true meaning of your
existence in this life and learn to fall in love with it.

Perhaps I believe that people will listen because they will see themselves. I don’t
believe that I need to be a professor, have the support of a large cooperation, or
experience extreme or extraordinary circumstances to connect with people.

What makes me different? I feel compelled to share, to connect, to be heard.
I am Wanda Octave, the girl next door, living an average life but making it

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Comments ( 1 )

One Response

I concur with your theory. I believe people finds it easier to live stereotypical lives and do not follow the natural course of their existence. we force ourselves to be an image of someone else not realizing that we are missing out on out natural talents.

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