Last week we went to see a show about juggling. And it got me thinking about, well, juggling.
I can't juggle, I've never been able. I spent about a half hour trying to learn when I was twelve but I wasn't immediately good at it, and back then I really thought that I needed to be, (It's a problem that I still struggle with, why can't I just be good at something? Why do I have to put in work? But as I've gotten older I've recognised that it is an unreasonable expectation to have of one'sself.) so I gave up.
Now onto the larger metaphorical point; there's a lot going on around here at the moment, a lot of different things seem to be coming together all at once, and it does, at times, feel a lot like trying to juggle.
And that's fine, it's exciting, honestly, to have so much going on that you have to always be thinking about more than one thing at once, that is really super cool.
Only, here's the thing: I'm not good at juggling.
It's difficult, ok? There's two things in your hands and three things in the air and you have to be throwing and catching all of them at the same time and you have to do it in some kind of rhythm and you have to do it all with some kind of preturnatural grace and performative skill, basically pretending that you're actually not doing anything out of the ordinary at all, and it's difficult.
And you're always thinking, all of the time, every single moment you're thinking, don't drop the ball, do not drop the ball, under no circumstances must you drop the ball. And that's a lot of pressure, because, to borrow a line from a classic teen movie of our time, sooner or later, it has to drop.
The thing you have to learn, the thing that past Lauren couldn't quite wrap her head around, but that present Lauren is coming to understand, is that dropping the ball is not the end. Dropping the ball does not mean that you suck and that you might as well give up, put the bean bags back in their tube and throw them on to the pile of other hobby paraphernalia that you've amassed because you're simply not naturally brilliant at everything you try. Dropping the ball is just the thing that happens right before you pick the ball back up.
That's the thing I'm trying to keep in mind when thinking about all the things that have to get done. I'm probably going to drop a ball somewhere. I'm probably going to forget to email someone or take a day longer than I was supposed to to write a blog post (*ahem*), I'm not good at juggling, that's just a simple fact. But being not good at something isn't a reason to stop doing it. You practice, you get better, you keep dropping things and picking them up, and that's just how you get through life.
I'm not good at juggling, but no way is that going to stop me from joining the circus.