I’m Bad at a Lot of Things
Let me tell you why it doesn’t matter.
The list of things I’m bad at is pretty long. Some of them are big.
I cannot multitask to save my life. This is something I actually need to disclose to potential employers and even friends. I have complete and total squirrel brain. Focusing on more than one thing short circuits my brain. It just goes into overload and nothing gets done.
When your livelihood depends on being able to do many things at once, it’s worrisome to suck at it. I’m saying this as I don’t mean to completely dismiss the importance of being good at something. Only partly.
Most things are not worth fretting over. They don’t matter. The fact that I can make all kinds of fancy dishes but can’t make garlic bread to save my life does not bother me.
Some things that I’m bad at just don’t matter.
I suck at yoga. I mean, I am really bad at it. I want to be good at it and I want to enjoy it. I want to be one of those yoga people. Zenned out and mindful. Yoga is the perfect connection of mind and body. Well, guess what? I have a hard enough time getting these two things to work independently of each other let alone together.
I am long and lanky and have no zero coordination. My brain wants to focus on quiet mind. It really wants to. What actually happens is Elton John lyrics. The lady next to me is all Warrior Two Pose and I’m over here all B-B-B-Benny and the Jets.
Trying is good enough
Here’s the glory of being bad at something: You gave it a shot. You actually tried something. Think about that for a hot minute. You went forward with intention toward something when you knew there was a good chance that you would fail at it. But, you did it anyway.
That, my friends, is bravery. That is called showing up for life.
Give it up and let it go
I’m going to let you off the hook on something else. It’s okay to give up. Go ahead. If you try something and you’re bad at it, feel free to stop doing that thing. We have been raised to believe that this is horrible advice. But the reality is that no one is going to make you keep doing it.
Many of us have spent months and even years doing something we suck at, that we don’t enjoy. I’m looking at you former 4th grade oboe players. We kept going because we felt like we had to keep trying in the event that we actually got good at it. More than likely, someone else wanted us to be good at it.
What’s worse is the beating up of one’s self because you can’t do something. That’s an exercise in futility. I am here to tell you: It. Does. Not. Matter.
The converse is also true.
Just because you suck at something doesn’t mean you should stop doing it. This is called “Letting the World Suck Your Joy.”
If you dig it, do it
Earlier this year, I decided I was going to learn how to play the violin. The violin is actually really easy to play. You put a bow on some strings and you move it and then sound happens. Being good at doing this is the hard part. I am not good at the sound coming out and being music part. I love playing the violin. I feel pretty amazing when I do it.
The best I can do is a really awkward few bars of Beethoven 9th. I’m hoping I don’t suck forever, but I may. I don’t care. I own not one but two violins because I am firmly committed to something at which I am far from good.
It’s easy to suck outside your comfort zone
Let’s go back to the bravery concept. Jumping into something frequently means jumping outside of our comfort zone. Think about all the things we never even try because we’re afraid were not going to be any good. For me, it’s painting. I would love to paint.
I am 99% sure I would totally suck at painting. I don’t care.
Yet, I really think painting would be phenomenally good for me to do. I love the entire idea of it. It seems peaceful and a great way for me to achieve that Zenlike state I’m looking of that does not involve stretching. The hardest part is undertaking something new is the possibility of having someone tell you that you’re bad at it. Criticism rarely lives in our comfort zone.
Some of my best friends suck at things
People that are bad at things and don’t give a rat’s ass are my people. I love them. They hold the secrets to the universe.
Their personal Fucks Appropriations Committee has assigned zero fucks to the fact that they suck.
Case in point: Have you seen George W Bush’s paintings? They legit look like a 7th grade art project. But this man has a love of painting like no one else! He does not care what you think of his paintings. That’s not why he started doing it. He started doing it because it seemed like a good idea at the time. The fact that the painting are proudly displayed by a man who created them out of the happiness they gave him make them good. If I could take a class in how to paint a sucky painting, taught by W, I might be the happiest person alive.
I plan on giving many other things a shot. There is absolutely nothing to lose. I am having a blast trying to come up with new things to try. It’s oddly freeing to go into something without a care in the world whether you’re good at it. I call this living a full life.
I’m open to suggestions and welcome you to tell me what you’re horrible at.