Or die trying…
I think this is one of the most valuable lessons there is. If it’s important, it gets done for there are no other options that you can live with. If it’s important, there is little space for excuses because you have to at least know you tried everything in your power. This doesn’t mean you always get the outcome you desired, but it drives you to think of solutions that would never have occurred without the need.
The ability to strategise, evolve and try the new may not always come from expected places. To me, it is why different and varied experiences are important. They create new neural pathways that allow you to solve another problem because of them. We hear often about transferable skills and this is what is meant by that. Little steps that move you forward will create ideas and solutions later in life as they are a lesson. This is why I believe being free, able to imagine and try is so important. It feeds into what it is to be human and curious about the world. The moment of exploration, when you have capacity is, I believe, when you can truly grow. This isn’t a post about dreams or hypotheticals. I’m taking this moment to share.
Are they transferable skills or are you doing the same just in an altered situation? Both I’d argue is the answer for the more you do something the easier it becomes. The latter here is what I’ll be concentrating on. Doing the same in a different situation.
When I was a preteen I emersed myself in so many magazines created for our age, and others that I thought were for teenagers. Each article in Mizz, JustSeventeen, Cosmopolitan etc I swallowed for they were the bible to my next phase of life. That mystical teenager who was so obviously cooler than I could ever imagine being. I gobbled up the articles on how to dress, which boy bands were cool (Take That, East Seventeen), which actors were hot (Keanu Reeves, Johnny Depp, River Phoenix) and imagined the moments when my parents (mum) would allow me to wear makeup in public as that was the true indication of adulthood or teenagedom. My books at the time were Babysitters Club and every Judy Blume book I could take out from the library. I was the closest horror book fan because I was concerned with being cool. At the back of those magazines they had information about the many topless male models that posed for the posters that we could rip out. Many of those lined my bedroom wall. We were after all told that we should put these posters up, it showed others that we were in tune with the mode of the time. Each magazine came with a new poster. Brilliant marketing! But, I’ve fallen into nostalgia rather than make the point, which is that I started to write fan mail. I wrote fan mail to many many models, actors and musicians. I Stan’d them so hard as one does, not really expecting anything in return. To my shock, I got a few responses. I had models, actors and musicians responding to my fan mail and they’d always send me “signed” photos too. Gleeful & boastful I excitedly told everyone I could when I was allowed my telephone time or when my BFF was there to joyfully open the responses. At that moment, I learnt that a well-written letter could get you unexpected wanted results!
As with everything, life moved and I stopped obsessing with what the media told me was cool. That’s a lie. My media gods just changed with evolution. Whilst I’d relied on radio countdowns on Sunday to know what was number one in the charts, my parents got cable because of its access to international news stations. I was now a teenager with access to MTV! Top of the Pops was no longer the most important Friday show on television. My dad’s way of keeping up with music became outdated. As the title of this post says, if it’s important you make it happen. I used to record on tape the Sunday countdown so I could learn the words to the top songs to discuss the lyrics at school. Now I could watch the music videos and show the dance move to my mates. All was beautiful in teenagehood until it wasn’t. Having access to international news meant my parent got a clearer understanding of the genocide in Rwanda. My dance lessons were replaced by war. There was very little we could do for we had no real power, or so I thought. But a well-written letter gets unexpected results. Confidence fueled by my previous experience of writing to celebrities, I tried that again. This time I wrote to newsreaders and other public figures who had any chance of reaching my bio-family. This was a “fan-mail” in-kind but had real-life positive consequences. A war correspondent found my bio-fam and is now a godparent to one of my sisters. When she last had dinner at my home, she said that my letter to her is framed on her desk. Wonderful unexpected positive results!
As an adult, I moved into the world of sales, spending my time reaching out to corporations wanting their business. I was good at this because, yet again, it was about creating a well-written letter to get their attention. Whilst for some, this was the first time they were reaching out to people, for me I’d honed my skill over the years by writing to celebrities, thank you little me.
The point of this post, and what I’d like you to take from this is that you never know what you are doing in the now will help you in your future. Most of the time, you probably won’t get the desired outcome straight away, but as long as you are doing something that brings you joy, you have the opportunity to learn. What you want and need today will be different from tomorrow, but if it’s important you will find ways to make it happen. Or at least die trying. Please don’t die- evolve 😉