Sunday, August 21, 2011

They say it's the journey, not the goal.

The learning process is a painful one. It's a long stretch of pure repetition, where you make mistakes, correct them, adjust and memorize. You slowly crawl your way from abysmal to passable. When you hit that passable, you've struggled so much that you think, now, now it'll work. Then you have a row of opportunities ahead, most of which will turn out not in your favor, not exactly because of you, but because the right moment simply won't arrive. If you're lucky you won't have to wait too long for that right moment, but no matter how long, you will be frustrated, eager to accomplish something. The deceptive initial success will fill you with confidence and hope. And this is the moment, when you're ready for your time in the limelight and your share of the rewards, that life will tear the carpet from under your feet. You'll make A Mistake. The other "mistakes" you made were just little forgettable sidesteps on a wide road, this is where you set your foot down and realize you've been walking on a rope and you just missed it. Most likely you won't just fall yourself, but everyone else around you. It's when you've stood up from that fall, seen to your comrades, patched up the bruises and hopefully nobody was seriously hurt or maybe they were, that you've actually really learned something. And it will only be worth it if you get up and do it all again, because this is the point where you realize, where you fully understand, that all that work has taught you the letter A. Now for the rest of the letters of the alphabet.

What you also realize, most likely, is that all you will ever get out of all this is the slight chance that at some point, just when the time is right and the moon is red and pigs fly, you might get to recite the alphabet just once, if you manage to walk that mile on the rope, and it probably won't be perfect or pretty or at all as you dreamed of all those days in initial training. It's here you'll know if you really like what you're doing; if you really want to learn, because if you do, it will be worth it even so.

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