I played softball when I was little. I was terrible. Really, really bad. And I hate to be bad at something. It’s my biggest hurdle. The number one reason why I don’t try new things. I absolutely loath being bad at something.
I realize nobody enjoys being bad. But I also see, in my husband in particular, that willingness to err and an ability to learn from it or shrug it off that I have never possessed. Maybe few have.
I quit softball early on. And somewhere along the way I stopped taking a swing at other things too. A teacher once called me lazy and so that’s how I learned to identify my choices for inaction. I’m lazy. It made me feel like garbage, but I owned it. A tiger cannot change its stripes, right? At least I knew and could be realistic in evaluating what I could or should or wanted. So I wouldn’t be taking swings that were destined to be strikes all along. Right?
But sometimes I think back to softball. And though I remember the anxiety and disappointment, I think on something else too. On the friends I made, the coaches’ encouragement, the cheering squad in the bleachers. I remember vividly my parents and sisters at every game, my brothers yelling from the sidelines – heckling (good naturedly) the umpire and coaching the coaches. I remember feeling supported even though I truly sucked. And I remember the times I hit my mark – the praise and excitement, the celebration – far more than I remember striking out. Without fail, I smile at the sight of a diamond. Every time.
And I’m figuring a few things out. My heart has always longed to hit my mark. But I rarely do that if I rarely take a swing. So maybe, just maybe, I’ll set a new mark. Not on succeeding. Not on being good at something. But just to swing.
Relationships. Health. Finances. Writing. Swing.