Big Dreams, Small Skills

We just spent the weekend at my restaurant building an outdoor seating pavilion.  Our staff is sunburned, bruised, and gassed.  I can barely lift my arms today.

Feels great.

I don't know if it's everybody or just me, but I've always found myself pushing past personal limits.  Not just physically (because who doesn't love a good endorphin rush) but mentally too.  I've had nights of songwriting that were almost painful. The morning after, my apartment would look like a writer's crime scene: balled-up paper everywhere, cracked pencils, pillows on floors, instruments all over couches.

The tell-tale signs of a person past the edge.

I've been reflecting on it today, wondering why I'm not good at letting enough be enough.  First and foremost, I know I'm just a neurotic weirdo. Plain and simple.  But more deeply, I think there's something that happens within a person when their vision exceeds their abilities.

In my head, I can feel perfectly crafted songs.  I see whimsical buildings and paintings.  I can taste well-balanced food.  Unfortunately, my skills don't usually know how to get me to the vision.  And that's when I work like a feverish maniac.

So what's to be done when our vision is beyond our skillset?

Keep. At. It.

Reader, if you too find yourself with a dream in your head that your talents can't match, it would be a shame to diminish the dream.  Instead, I think we have to generate a lot of shoddy versions of the masterpiece in our minds until our skills improve, and we can achieve it.  Write the weak songs.  Build the imperfect furniture. Paint the lame paintings.  Just keep going.

With that, I'm off to keep building.  It's not going to be as good as what I planned, but it's the work I need to do to get better at woodworking.  Hopefully, it'll be done by next week.  I'll see ya then. -Em


Leave a comment

Add comment