I am an amazing faller. It’s not a resume point, and in this case a very dumb metaphor, but here’s why falling well is how you get better. I like to ride this bike I have. It has a bell and also a whole entire cup holder. It’s also too high off the ground for me. I don’t care what the bike shop says. Getting off it involves some flexibility because I have to kick my leg back while standing on the tips of my toes and then I get to roll the dice to see if I can make it off or, in more than a few cases, slowly feel the bike tip. At this point I begin a slow but controlled tumble…with the bike… to the ground. This usually involves me hopping around a little and laughing, because this dance was inevitable and it is a slow enough process that I can see the ground approaching and give it a preparation speech. I send condolences that I am coming for it and I need to talk to the bike shop.
Why this crazy story? Because in this life, you are a short person who’s gonna have to dismount an unreasonably lanky bike and eventually you gotta fall and enjoy it, so you can keep speeding around on that bike. Wind in your hair, actual competitive bikers shaving inches off old lady joggers around you, a kid on a trike giving you a heart attack and then yelling, “ Oh! Look! She has a bell!”
All part of this perfect metaphor about why you are going to be trash at most things immediately and it’s ok to accept it as just a step in the learning process. You can even laugh about it and share the embarrassing story. It’s not illegal. I consider that traditional art is not my skill set. I am messy. I don’t plan like I should. So I would say at this point I’m a professional tinkerer.
What makes a tinkerer? All I can imagine is like, one of the Keebler elves guys with a cobblers bench. But I guess if I made up a definition (I’m gonna) it means I take a bunch of parts I haven’t seen and then get them together and I pull out duct tape and tools so I can make them do something they have no business doing. Kind of like Doc from Back to the Future, but less science, more duct tape …maybe a dash of dad assembling IKEA furniture. I am good at, and have chosen, toil and cursing.
Why? I don’t fully know, but it’s possibly because I kind of like falling. It doesn’t bother me much. Because it’s funny. Because I’m going to do it anyways and it takes will power to keep going. Also because falling isn’t the end and most people will probably stop to avoid falling at all. I’m pretty sure that’s why. The unfortunate issue is some people seem to fear “failure” and many people I know that are amazing and talented but would bust through their fields like Juggernaut if they just failed and popped back up. If they were like, I’m gonna bike down that spandex biker with a vengeance and it will, at the least, be a great story at parties.
I’ve been up until 2 am cutting out paper designs after I took hours understanding how to make the layout on my computer, and my Cameo blade printer (like a printer with knives) sucked that paper in and tried to eat it. I wrestled it back out and talked to a very nice customer service lady. She asked, “Did you try trouble shooting it for two hours with this list.” and I said, “Yeah.” And this woman said…”your whole printer is broken.” and I said,”….ok.” Then I turned my tear ducts inwards and took a deep breath.
But then I shared the video of it failing to cut out “the heart’s a heavy burden.” Like a plot twist but in real life (not nearly as fun) it cut out “art’s a heavy burden.” I posted it because it was funny and unnerving. The I laughed and mourned and said goodbye to its janky rickety personality because this chaos blade printer had helped me through the training wheels part of my project. Still, I kept going and I made a bunch of light boxes. (It took me two years from concept to product, for context.) I’ve had people say, “I love this idea. I’m going to have to make a bunch of these now” to which I say, “Godspeed, sweet prince.” Because it was a trial but it was also worth it.
Thankfully I’m not trying to go for Yoda street cred because, other than his sentence structure, he’s not so Labyrinthian in his advice. Or is he? Oh my god.. maybe? I would like to go against the nerd grain and say he gives unrealistic advice. Here’s why. He’s wrong. Do or do not..and try is just a myth. You aren’t ever done, too bad..if it’s important, you gotta keep walking forward. Start saving up and looking for deals on printers, maybe get the tool to lower your bike seat. It’s super fun to look back at the journey and laugh eventually.
Most people think there is some magic finish line. Probably the speed biker….technically maybe for him. Anyways… (philosophers doubt) it’s not over until you stop. Or give up or are like, “Dang! I did it. All done! And you take the lightsaber and jump into the heavens or something, because you did everything perfect every time.
This is an odd little advice blurb, but if no one has said it (and a lot of people have, don’t apologize for learning or beat yourself up for not being great. The process of not flinching under that stuff is success and you can’t practice if you don’t do the work like a force of nature. I’m not there yet but that’s the point and that’s the only place I plan on walking.
2 thoughts on “The Value of Falling and Falling A Lot”
This is so sad.. I responded to this on your “Odd Art” etc. ” connection via word PressPress (which I also use every year or so) I waxed elegant and knew you’d love my well worded praise for your wonderful short story… then I press “send” and it all disappeared. Just know that I loved > > The Value of Falling and Falling A Lot HUGS! Elle
> Begin forwarded message: > > From: Odd Art and Eccentric Creations > Subject: [New post] The Value of Falling and Falling A Lot > Date: November 28, 2020 at 5:56:09 AM EST > To: firstname.lastname@example.org > Reply-To: Odd Art and Eccentric Creations > >
That is a loss, but I am glad you enjoyed it 🙂 And I know all about your wonderful way with words so I will make up the epic ballad you wrote for me and know yours was still better, haha! I appreciate you being a follower of my work!