She can do it.
She will do it.
Aimee clicked the 'Submit' button on the screen. A pop-up showed, congratulating her on submitting her manuscript for the writing contest.
She closed her laptop and slumped, breathing a sigh of relief.
"Baby steps, baby steps.." she mumbled, though she knew that entering the annual writing contest of the city was no more less than taking a leap of faith.
Yes, that was it. A leap of faith. There was no other adjective for what she did.
She'd been planning on entering the competition for the past 6 months, and her manuscript was already completed a month ago, but she'd been going forward and back each time she sat in front of her laptop and faced the "Submit" button.
She would sit in front of her laptop for hours on end just glaring on the screen, scowling at the 'Submit' button, as if it was the greatest challenge of her life.
Aimee audibly sighed.
"Aimee, are you okay?" Samantha, her sister, asked, placing a cupcake in front of her, popping out of nowhere.
Aimee jumped, then groaned. "I took a leap." she mumbled.
"You took a what?"
"A leap of faith."
Samantha paused, but finally laughed. "So you finally did it, huh?"
Aimee closed her eyes and sighed. She was getting a headache from all this tension. She needs sweets.
Samantha had been goading her sister to enter the contest, but Aimee would always doubt herself and take a step back whenever she was pressured or pushed.
That created some bouts of arguments between the two, with Samantha mostly coming out as victorious because she was always right, leaving Aimee feeling all bad about herself, because she was mostly wrong. She was still coming to terms with that.
Today, though, was different.
She felt it when she woke up. The first thing she had wanted to do was to finally submit her piece, but then she took too long to boot her laptop on, and so the adrenaline of wanting to get it over with was gone. She stared at the screen for the longest time before finally deciding to take a break.
She ended up watching Mulan, the live action, which then became Aimee's source of inspiration to go for it. Mulan was such a warrior, Aimee wanted to be one.
So now, here she sat, in front of her closed laptop, feeling like a heavy weight was lifted off her shoulders.
She'd finally done it. She still couldn't believe she'd finally done it.
Aimee eyed the cupcake, took it to her lips, and upon tasting the chocolate, moaned. "This is perfect." she whispered.
Samantha scoffed. "Of course it is. I made it."
Aimee just rolled her eyes. Egotistic, she had wanted to say. Though her sister's baking was always the best. She had come to love the sweets that she used to hate because her sister would always try new recipes on her, which always turned out good.
"So, how long before you get the results?" Samantha asked.
Aimee slumped again. "Six months."
And so the wait started.
Six months was such a long time and not at the same time. Throughout the course of those agonizing six months, not much had happened.
Life was still as mundane as ever, and Aimee was beginning to think that her 'leap of faith' for the contest was the only 'leap of faith' she would ever experience. She still did her 'baby steps' mantra whenever she did something. Like finally not burning the cookies she helped Samantha bake. That was definitely a story for another time.
There were no more messages nor notifications from the contest, no pop-ups nor follow-ups from the coordinator. Aimee would visit the contest website everyday and all she'd see are other upcoming events, no news from the current one she'd entered.
She suffered second-hand anxiety for overthinking.
When the six month mark was over, Aimee sat in front of her laptop for the whole duration of the day. No notification whatsoever popped up. It was fine, late announcements were a common thing.
The next day, she did the same. Still nothing. She was getting worried.
The third day, again, she sat in front of the laptop, praying to all the superpowers out there to at least give her a chance. Again, nothing. All the superpowers had betrayed her.
By the fourth day, Aimee lost hope.
Her feelings were so down that Samantha took notice of it, dragged her to the couch, and made her watch a series of Disney movies with her. Mulan, Princess and the Frog, Tangled, those Disney movies that sent off the 'inspiring' vibe.
Aimee frowned. Samantha was trying to cheer her up, as if Aimee had already failed. Though, deep down, she was thinking the same thing. Maybe her writing wasn't good enough. There were far better writers out there, far better than she will ever be.
Her spirits went down even deeper depths, and now she was just sad.
Fifth day, a normal day, she sat in front of her laptop going through all the Netflix series she could wallow her sorrows in, sifting through the cartoons and anime and dramas, thinking that 'Goblin' was her mood for the day, when a message popped up with a ping.
Aimee froze. The sender ID said it was from the city contest.
She clicked on it, reading with baited breath.
A few moments later, Aimee was running around the house screaming to the top of her lungs, "I'M IN THE TOP THREE!!", banging on each of her family's doors in the middle of the night, pulling them out from sleep to announce her win. She didn't care if they were half-asleep and looked like walking zombie, she was ecstatic.
The next few days were spent celebrating, going out with her bestfriends, saying it was,"My treat." When the awarding day came, a week after she found out, she went to the venue with her head held high. She wore her best dress, wore her best make up, and wore her happiest smile.
She was above cloud nine when she received her certificate and prize money, not even bothered by the fact that she was at third place. That was fine. She'd read the works of the others, and their skills and quality of writing were far beyond her own. She had to acknowledge that they deserved their place. But that didn't mean she won't try to surpass them.
Next year, she'll try to aim even higher. Getting first place was a good place to start. And now, 'Leap of faith, leap of faith', was her new mantra.