Until today, I figured that, as long as I keep a shred of dignity for myself and compassion for others, I’ll get through life pretty fine.
But I see how one of my friends is living, and I give her props for what she’s managed to do for as long as I’ve known her:
She’s experienced awesomeness simply by going for it. Not thinking too much about the outcome as much as the journey to get to it.
Which. I have to say, is commendable. And enviable.
Very few times have I taken a chance and did something with more emphasis on the journey than the outcome, but to think of what could come of an action is… mesmerizing. Hopeful. Stressful.
But I need to expel that. I want to do more with my life, but with the way the world is currently set up, no matter what I do, the future is uncertain. Which scares me.
However, I occasionally end up in situations that… surprise me. For example, auditions. I go to one for a musical, knowing I’m not much of a singer. If it’s in front of people I’m somewhat familiar with, I can get through it and stay on key. If not, I don’t bother submitting.
Yet, when I go to a certain Sherlock Holmes convention every April in Atlanta, GA, and with friends I haven’t seen in a year, I’m more open to trying new things. I find the journey to be more fun, & could care less about the end result.
So there are times where I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone; regardless of the outcome, I celebrate in even taking a chance at something I wanted to do; otherwise, had I not gone and done said thing, I would have kicked myself.
Back to my friend: I and mutual friends call her Bat, and she’s awesome in that she does her own thing; later for convention or whatever the outcome may be.
Convention. The ‘norm’. The bullshit that’s drilled into our heads from childhood: if you do certain things a certain way in a certain order, you will succeed, life will be simple to navigate.
Thing is, convention isn’t for everyone. There are folks who wanna do their own thing, live life on their own terms, and I can’t help but be proud and jealous of them for doing so.
And I’m not alone in envy, for much of conventional society is quick to shame those living unconventionally.
And it’s only because we’re too chicken to do it. Which is understandable, cause that shit is scary, or, has been MADE TO LOOK scary. We’re conditioned to stay within the lines, to behave, to follow order on the path to success. I would like to live in Bat’s world, doing things I put my mind to. Unfortunately, I’ve wired my brain to think ahead to a set end result instead of the actions it takes to get to whatever result occurs. By thinking so damn much about said result, anxiety sets in, takes over; what I want to do never gets done or is delayed.
There are ways of unpacking this conventional behavior.
One of them is learning to like and appreciate things that are appealing to us without having to hide our true selves in order to please people who never did, don’t, and never will give a fuck about us. If they did/do, they wouldn’t mind our individual taste in whatever fulfills us (as long as no one got hurt — unless you’re deliberately, consentually into that 😉).
However, there’s much to consider in terms of stigma, as there are those in situations that may not be afforded the chance to enjoy what fills them, or at least not beyond strict limits they’ve set for themselves.
I know it’s never too late for me or anyone else to live life like Bat, and I hope I one day have the courage to step further outside of the box and explore more. That’s what I was — we are — brought into this world to do, right?