When I was about 5 years old I joined my first baseball league. We were the American Canyon Lions or something intimidating like that. Real cute. Well on the first day my oversized head and I showed up for team pictures early in the morning followed by our first practice later that day. What I didn't know was that it wasn't kosher to wear your game-day uniform to practice. As the shy little insecure dude that I was(am), the embarrassment of being the only niño suited up for practice just about killed me. After that day I quit baseball and never joined another organised sport until high school.
I mention this not to suggest that my childhood lacked anything. In fact, me and my neighbour friends played some of the most epic/emotion-filled games of every sport imaginable in our little cul-de-sac on the daily. Little John ruled at life, make no mistake. I bring this up to illustrate that I've always dealt with this intense fear of failing. If I wasn't going to be great at something then I wasn't going to touch it.
The problem with that mindset and the struggle that I constantly face is that I'm learning to truly be great at something means you have to fail at it. And fail hard. Now of course, maybe you are the Justin Bieber type where you bloom early, don't know what pro-active is, and live a life filled with an endless string of opened doors and green lights. To you I say, good-on-ya. That's not me. Not even close. Everything I've ever tried or attempted always resulted in a train wreck at the onset.
I remember my first job I worked at this deli and hid in the freezer. After one week my boss and I came to a mutual understanding that the hoagie industry wasn't my jam.
Even the things that I've been inclined towards have been excruciatingly hard.
I remember how long it took me to learn my first Kick-flip on a skateboard. No joke, I have hrs and hrs of footage of me rolling around my garage NOT landing skateboard tricks. Just a 12 year old stubbornly refusing to let the latest shin-destroying feat get the best of him.
Or me as a 9 year old getting my first guitar sitting in my room just staring, transfixed and amazed with absolutely no clue where to start. Completely unaware of the hrs upon hrs of sonic death I would have to wade through just to learn my first Blink 182 song.
Or as a 17 year old driving out to downtown Napa to try my hand at SINGING INTO A MICROPHONE for complete strangers at the weekly open mic. (To anyone who had known me for longer than 20 minutes the concept of me voluntarily putting myself in front of people for any capacity was nothing short of voodoo magic). -- I remember the panic I saw in myself reflecting in the mirror as I stood in the mens room of the cafe, just BARELY talking myself into trying out some new song I had written that week.
Even me sitting here outside Peet's Coffee is reminding me how hard BLOGGING is. Frick. Grammar man. With an english teacher slash genius sentence-former for a sister this whole idea of writing my thoughts without a melody and guitar leaves me feeling ill-equipped and overly ambitious.
But I guess that's just what I'm getting at. Since when has the variable of an outcome determined the merit of attempting something in life? I mean just because Penn and Teller can catch a bullet in their teeth doesn't mean I would necessarily try my odds, but what I'm saying is that maybe some things in life are worth failing for?
I'm entering a stage in life that is pretty sweet simply because I'm allowing myself to try. For better or for worse. To swing big with as much strength and hand-eye coordination as I can muster. To actually play the game and not worry about who is or isn't watching or what they think of my uniform. (See how I tied it back into baseball? pretty pumped on that) In the famed words of Kevin McCallister, "I'm not afraid anymore!!".
If you've been in my world for the last year or two then you know this to be true and subsequently I'd like to issue a huge THANK YOU and SORRY 'BOUT IT for baring with me as I swing for the fences. I have absolutely no clue what's going to happen next in my life but I know that I'm probably gonna try pretty hard for something great and more likely than not I'm going to fail at some point. But that's okay. It might hurt like a b-word, but nothing stings worse than the regret of doing nothing. -- I have a tornado of Dead Poet Society quotes going through my head but let's just all agree to watch that movie some time this week and get pumped on life.
This is our time, folks. Let's go carpe us some friggin diem.
P.S. Go listen to 'That's Life' by Frank Sinatra. Just hits the spot.