The thing that motivates me the most, more than the grandness of the story and even much more than the thought of hordes of screaming fans at my brilliance, is the thought of my greatest enemy outranking me in any way.

That is right folks, the greatest motivator for achievement is not personal award and success but it is in fact beating that other guy at the game.

I have always had a nemesis. Even when the only thing we competed over was the most colorful crayon. Perhaps it’s the only child in me trying to compensate for the lack of a sibling to destroy, but I thrive best in a competitive relationship. Because otherwise I usually just don’t care.

The one I remember best is someone who has no idea we were ever at odds, and she would be duly horrified to learn since we were really good friends. In all honesty, there was nothing she did to earn my loathing aside from the fact that she had all the things I coveted. Lots of toys, a subscription to Nickelodeon Magazine, and an intact family.

I held onto this grudge long after we parted ways in middle school, each pursuing a different way. She made several hundred appearances in my juvenile fiction attempts as the evil henchman of the alien overlords. My equal in every way, just totally evil. Then I grew up and finally burnt out my unjust rage.

This is why I think my fiction production tapered off in high school. No real fire or spark, no drive to obliterate the opposition.  I only had to write for myself, and for some weird reason that wasn’t enough.

Worse still when I graduated and was forced through the soul-crushing process of finding out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. Trying to garner up the energy to write an epic novel with whatever was left after pulling out my hair all day because I had no purpose to live for.

So then this year happens…

If you follow me already you know the most of it. But you don’t know this.

This year also happened to be my ten-year high school reunion. Which of course led to a good portion of my class searching for each other on Facebook after the creation of a group to organize the reunion itself. Myself included.

Which led me to search for one particular girl from my class who I had noticed re-friended a select few already. She being the type to unfriend a whole chunk of her friend group on a whim as a statement.

This girl who was a good friend of mine in school because she had a lot of similar interests as mine and she was great fun to be around. We left on good terms I thought until about a year after graduating she unfriended me on Facebook and all but two of our class.

So I let it slide until I see she had friended my best friend years later and think, what the hell? I send the request and then she accepts. No shit. I won’t ever know why because I will never outright ask her, but in either case it’s done and we’re still friends these many months later.

Then I post a few months ago that I was invited to join My Trending Stories as a contributor, and it started. All of the sudden her usual posts regarding her reading lists and general work and home life became grand posts on her writing and her film exploits.

Which in turn lead me to submit essays to the very contest she posted, which lead to her submitting her own film pieces to another contest.

Do you see where I am going with this?

She’s not really an enemy or even a nemesis, though it is cooler to say. Not even a rival. But she is a challenger. She always has been the one, even outside of creative attempts, to push me forward and hit my stubbornness just right so I am forced to grow in ways I never would if left to my own devices.

So unto her I say, thanks. Thank you for your rivalry and constant challenging. You have awakened the fiery bitch within and given her a direction in which to conquer.


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