I’ve never been one to stick to the beaten path. Even when I give it a shot, and feel like I’m doing what people have prescribed as the “right thing to do”, I find myself happily frolicking in the weeds, swimming upstream, or as it’s been for the past few months, staring in disbelief at the map. I’m digging right at the spot with the big red X on it and I haven’t found anything yet.

Genuine learning rarely feels good when you’re doing it. There’s a sick sensation when you see the gap between what you’re doing and what sort of competence is actually required. It’s even worse when what you need is not academic or manual- but rather a matter of fortitude. A belief that what you’re doing is right; the instinct to bet on yourself.

Right now, I’m playing something of a game of chicken with…what is it? Fate? Time? The universe? Convention? Whatever it is, every direction except straight ahead is a complete compromise and a step away from what I want my life to look like. If I flinch to the left, I end up administrating. Flinch right, and I have to move to where there may be a position for me, but no gigging. So what happens if I don’t flinch?

We’re about to find out. I’ll tell you: betting on yourself doesn’t look like swagger. It doesn’t feel like confidence, or some clever quip. It’s terrifying. There is a very real chance that my best efforts won’t be enough and I’ll end up who knows where doing who knows what. But if I do, I’ll at least know that it wasn’t because I bet against myself. ¬†Maybe I’ll build a house in the weeds. Maybe I’ll learn to tack into the wind. Maybe the red X on the map is where things begin.


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3 Responses

  1. Something I like to think about helps me have a new perspective of time. I plan to live a healthy long life to a ripe old age, so that means that from the day I was born and took my first breath till this exact moment in time, I have that time to live again, a new life with grand possibilities. I am not constrained in an expectation set within any time frame, I am free to explore. That always gets me excited. Remember, stay firmly grounded but allow yourself to sway with the wind a little so you don’t break. Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might. Remember that we all have a million thoughts that flood our minds, from anxieties to doubts and wonders. Remember to stand back and realize that we are not our thoughts, they come and they go, let them. Unsolicited thoughts, sorry.

    Have a blessed day

    brandon champney

  2. Marion:
    I have thought a lot about you since I first started feeling a sort of sustained ‘tremolo’ as the groundbass for your conveyed thoughts – the posit of a grand American adventure, and I have to admit, I felt concern but this has allowed me to see that you have your eyes wide open to the ‘terrifying’ aspects of such a bold venture as is required of anyone who insists on being the very person he/she was placed here to be. I am dealing big-time with this issue – that is why I put out memos to myself – #Wayne2Wayne – reminding me not to flinch – ‘Once you have stated Here I Stand do not waver, do not move, do not so much as flinch.’ – ‘Do not do what is not yours to do.’ – If this were easy everyone would be doing it. Everyone is not. And the flinch part is necessary – not even the slightest flinch.
    They said -‘It’ll give ya somethin’ ta fall back on!’
    He said – “Id rather fall back on a rake!’

  3. No flinching! I like that. I’ve ended up in the most gert dern places, wandering around from pillar to post. If not for gravity I’d probably have journeyed aimlessly to Saturn and back a couple of times by now.

    If not for trekking through the weeds I wouldn’t have stumbled upon “Sparkle” the stray cello that I took in 2 months ago. Never in a million years did I ever think I’d be trying to unlock the mysteries of a such a cool instrument. And all this bushwhacking brought me to discover Stark Raving Cello… a new favorite blog!

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