Saturday, July 17, 2010


At the tender age of eighteen, I often forget that these are the times to be bold. My fear of failure and embarrassment keep me from progressing, from moving toward what I want. In recent days, I have found myself harboring feelings of jealousy at other people's accomplishments and skills. But why? I do understand that jealousy is the most worthless sentiment and results in nothing more than self-pity and bitterness, but I could not keep myself from sliding down that slope. And so, in my effort to discover the root of these ridiculous feelings, I remembered that I have been trying too hard. I want so badly to be good at the things I try, and not only that, but be good at them within the first several attempts, that I don't have patience for my own mistakes. Yet, how I am to get good at anything if I am constantly giving up?
I had this same mental block as a child learning to draw. I would see the picture of the horse in a magazine and set about drawing it, intending for my picture to come out exactly like the one I was copying. When I finished my rendition, I was almost always disappointed that mine was so much less than I had wanted it to be. So instead of going back to the drawing board and figuring out what I had done differently and what needed fixing or adjusting, I would give up and decide that I was bad at drawing.
Learning anything is a challenge, and it takes work. Often times I underestimate the real meaning of that challenge, and thus set myself up for disappointment again.
When I see someone who plays an instrument well, or is particularly good at making small talk, or performs well at a sport, I feel a small pang of inadequacy, because I have nothing like that. And the only reason for it is my own unwillingness to take my failures in stride. It takes a lot of effort for me to swallow a if everyone involved thinks of me as so much less because I couldn't do something right.
So I the weeks to come, I will have to make a concerted effort to step to the challenges I have undertaken. Coffee, jiu jitsu, writing, and humbleness. These things don't come naturally for me, and improvement is impossible without first realizing there is change to be had.
And so the search for the better me continues one step at a time. Maybe one day I'll have it together...

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