I’m trying to be better at things.
One of the things at the top of my list is “Be More Specific.”
I would like to be better at things because I’m at an age where I need to either Get Good™ at something or resign myself to a life of Frasier reruns, failed crochet attempts, and making babies. In that order.
The last thing I need right now is a child, and the last thing a theoretical child needs is me as a mother, feeding it cheetos from across the room and hiring homeless people to babysit while I go to improv class. So my only option is to Get Good™ at something.
So what does that mean, exactly? It means choosing something, and sticking with it. It means commitment and dedication. It means discovering road blocks and caring enough to confront them.
When I was a kid, I remember trying to Get Good™ at putting stickers on my face.
I exhausted that field.
Later in childhood, I tried my hand at gardening. A friend and I dug a three by five foot hole in her backyard, threw a handful of miscellaneous seeds into the earth, set up lawn chairs, and waited.
When we unearthed a tiny carrot from what might as well have been Devil’s Snare, we declared ourselves masters of horticulture and went back inside to play nine hours of Ocarina of Time.
Another discipline - mastered.
Freshman year of college I decided that I wanted to use a skateboard as a means of transportation, and I figured that while I was at it I might as well become the World’s Greatest Skateboarder.
After a few days of rolling slowly over pedestrian ankles and almost coming to a complete and appropriately dismounted stop once, I gave the board back to Aristotle and put one more item on the list of things I Got Good™ at.
In 2009 I took a post-graduate six-week trip to Europe, and in Florence I met an Australian girl named Laurie. I spent the rest of my trip abroad wandering various cities, shouting NERR and NOIR and NAOOR at passers by, hoping to master the Australian accent, starting with the word "no."
Most people would agree that nailing down one word in a different accent is not the definition of Getting Good™ at something, but I am not most people.
Sharp-eyed readers will notice that these disciplines were poorly chosen, woefully maintained, and hastily dropped. Except for maybe the face stickers thing. I was really good at that.
Well now I’m an adult. I can’t pretend to Get Good™ at things anymore. I have to actually be good.
When I dove head first into web design and discovered that this
and not this
I inevitably felt the old habit creeping back in. “This is hard.” my brain would say. “You’re going to melt me. You’ve learned enough. Put it on your resume and call it a day. The Biggest Loser isn’t going to watch itself. What’s for dinner? Are you going to cook, or are you going to get take out? Let me rephrase the question. From which B-grade health rated Asian restaurant will you be ordering takeout from this evening? I’m bored. Does Reddit still exist? I don’t know. Better double check.”
“What defines love, anyway, you know? What if it doesn’t exist. Have you thought about that? I’m pretty tired. I think you might be out of those Trader Joe's off-brand pirate's booty things, by the way. The employees there are too friendly. Have you noticed? It’s unsettling. Maybe you have a new Facebook notification. When do the olympics start? If you plug the TV into the wall, will it just like, receive channels? You should try. I'm making a mental note. Plug TV into wall.”
“Look into getting one of those corgi dogs. The adorable ones with the wiener dog legs. How many calories are in a glass of wine? Google it. Google it now. You should probably Google it now, before you forget. I'm trying to think of how long it's been since you showered. I think it's approaching an unacceptable amount of time. Oh wait, is rent due soon? How much money do you have in our bank account? Probably a lot, right?”