My Definition: Dedication

Dedication is the small inaudible click that happens inside all of us when we become aware that it’s here that the rubber meets the road.  There will be no white flag of surrender, no compromise.  It is the moment we sign our name on the dotted line and commit in our hearts.

My first clearly defined moment of dedication came when I was in my early 20’s.  I had been a bundle of troubles up until that point; I’d slept in the streets on both US coasts and points in between, I had a list of failed suicide attempts, I’d been rushed off in an ambulance with alcohol poisoning.  My life was a series of colossal fails, and all those moments added up to the morning that I woke up in a strange apartment, miserable and hung over.

I lay there, the sum of my short life piling up like refuse in my mind, and I thought it may be about time to try to save the world by ending my own.  For the thousandth time I thought of how it was all my parent’s fault that I had become who I was.  I blamed them for making me an alcoholic waste of space.  “It’s their fault.” I whispered to an empty room.  I was answered, as I expected, by silence.   And then, so clear I’d have sworn I heard it with my ears, a voice asked me a question; “Who’s making you fail now?”

I was jolted by the sheer impact of the question.  I had been on my own for years.  All the sleeping on the streets, the drugs, the risks; all were direct consequences of my choices.  My parents weren’t to blame.  No one had forced me to do anything.  I had chosen to take my life to that moment in an empty apartment feeling like garbage, and now I had a choice to make.  I could continue my life as it was, or make it better.

That was my moment of dedication.  The door to failure clicked shut in my mind as surely as a cell door, imprisoning my self destructive behaviours.  I knew then that there was no more surrender for me, no compromise.  I signed my name on the dotted line and put the rubber to the road.

I have never looked back.

This is a response to Elsie Duggan’s Tuesday Writing PromptFor this week I would like you to write about dedication , or any variation on that subject. Please write a poem or short story using dedication as your prompt in your post. A poem can be any length and try to keep your stories to around 500 words.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, author, and publisher with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She is a Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020. She co-publishes Space and Time, a publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction since 1966. Join the community at
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