When I was younger I was a bit commitment-phobic – and no, i’m not talking about relationships. I’m talking about, well, everything. When it came to trying something new or partaking in activities, I just couldn’t commit. I couldn’t love it and feel passionate about it.
When I was a really little girl, about 4, I did ballet for a while, but that never lasted. Then when I was 8, I did gymnastics. I LOVED gymnastics. Except then one day I broke my wrist (which was totally unrelated to gymnastics). Obviously I couldn’t do any sort of exercise until it was fully healed and by the time it was I’d have to start again. I didn’t like the thought of starting all over again. It made me feel like my achievements so far were for nothing, so I bailed. I never bothered trying gymnastics again. It was the same with many things, whether it was a game of rounders in a P.E class or my attendance at Girl Guides when I was 11 (which lasted for about 3 weeks). I just never wanted to stick around. When I was about 12 I was desperate to learn how to play the guitar, so when I was 13 I got an electric guitar, and began teaching myself. But again, it never stuck. I learnt how to play a few cool things, but then the drive to continue just disappeared. The guitar no longer appealed. And it sat there gathering dust, until I eventually sold it last year to a dad with a 13 year old son, who wanted to learn the guitar. I hope he is more willing to learn than I was at 13!! I then learnt to ski at 14, but then didn’t go skiing again until this year!
This might surprise some people to read. After all, I’m such a driven, ambitious individual. Who would of thought I was one to give up? However it wasn’t all about giving up, some things I just wouldn’t even want to try in the first place. When I was younger my Mum was desperate for me to try out Karate. But I simply refused. And it wasn’t because I was a spoilt little brat, or because I was lazy or because I was shy. It was honestly, simply, because I didn’t want to. Karate never appealed to me. And as much as I admire people who have achieved a black belt, it still doesn’t appeal to me. And I guess, ironically, despite the fact that maybe when I was younger I was never good at trying new things and pushing myself, a lot of this stems from the same place my current drive stems from: my independence. I’ve always been an independent person. Maybe this is because I’m an only child, which meant that I’m very used to and comfortable with my own company. Maybe it’s because my amazing Mum always raised me to think for myself, and follow my own heart and my own beliefs and do what felt right for me. But I would always go with my gut and even from a young age, I knew my own mind. My mum was quite overprotective of me, but she never forced me into doing activities I didn’t want to do. She let me just do or not do what was right for me, in terms of learning new skills etc.
Now that I’m older (and hopefully a bit wiser) I feel a bit silly. Ok, I’m glad I bailed on Guides… it wasn’t for me at all. But there are so many things I’ve wanted to be able to learn, and feel like I haven’t. For ages, I kept thinking ‘why didn’t I try to do this when I was younger, when my brain was more sponge-like and would of absorbed the information?’. Things like learning a language, learning to take amazing photos, learning to snowboard. I kept thinking… I wish I’d done that, instead of just thinking, I could do that now. I’m still young, I have my whole life ahead of me. There’s no point dwelling on the past and what could of been… And that goes with everything! Instead you just have to focus on the now, and how you can make changes in your life now.
We’re not naturally born to do certain things. Some things take time, effort, and dedication. They also take the effort to actually stand up, get out of bed in the morning and say ‘hey, i’m going to do this’. I like to think of myself as quite a driven person, yes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have setbacks. It doesn’t mean I don’t have lazy days where, quite frankly, I can not be f*cked!. If you want something, just do it.
Now I’m realising this, it doesn’t matter what I did and didn’t do when I was younger. All that matters is it was right for me at the time. After all, now I do yoga I’m pretty damn flexible, maybe I never needed gymnastics. And that desire to play guitar never did come back, so maybe it was just a phase. And the things you’re meant to be good at will stick regardless. I spent 6 years off of the slopes, and when I got back on them it was like it never changed. I love skiing and I’m good at it, and when you love something like that, it doesn’t matter how much time you spent away… because when you return it will still be the sauciest of loves.
And now I can actually concentrate on the things I do want to do. I can go to new places and do new things, and accept that it won’t always be plain sailing. There will be struggles. I might run out of money, or have bad days, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth kicking it all in. Now I know, I can do anything I want. I can learn to snowboard. I can go and surf as much as possible and get as good as I can. I can learn to work the DJ decks. I can learn Spanish, or French, or both! And it might come naturally… or it might take forever like when I learnt how to drive. I felt like all my friends were passing before me, and I could of given up, but I didn’t. And the reason I didn’t? Well honestly… it’s because I lived in a little village in the middle of nowhere and needed to drive. Plus I’d already bought a car. If that’s not an incentive what is!! But I got there in the end, and now I drive my little Fiat around town feeling suave. From now on, when I’m learning something new, I won’t give up when it gets tough, or when I fail. I’ll keep going. Because driving proved to me that you will get there in the end.
As Samuel Beckett famously wrote: Fail. Fail Again. Fail Better.
Failure is good for the soul. Failure does not mean defeat. Giving up means defeat. And eventually the success will be ever so sweet.
What things do you want to try? What do you want to succeed, or fail at? Let me know in the comments 🙂