I’ve decided to do an A-Z blogging challenge, because apparently I can’t keep anything up unless I’m competing. Even if it’s with myself, though that’s not quite as compelling as beating other people. So, I suppose, without any further ado, here goes:
A is for Adams.
Specifically, Douglas Adams. This wonderful man is quite possibly my favorite writer. He writes like I think: philosophical, theological, mathematical nonsense. If I were a book, I think I would be Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. I’m not sure why; I just identified with the writing style and the story and I felt the details in my soul. He and C.S. Lewis are my main inspirations when I write. I mean just listen to some of these quotes:
“Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”
“He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.”
“For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.”
“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”
“The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.”
“The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks.”
This last quote has become sort of an impromptu life motto for me. Which brings us to my next point.
A is for ambitious.
Not ambition, ambitious. There’s a difference, and not just in the part of speech. Ambition is something that is admired in a person. “Oh,” you say, “that person has such great ambitions. She’s going great places in life.” Ambitious, on the other hand, is what you say when someone attempts something stupid and seemingly impossible. “You’re going to what?” you ask. “Climb the Empire State Building with a paper clip and some twine? That’s ambitious.” Waggle your eyebrows and scoff.
I, unfortunately, tend to be habitually ambitious. What’s the fun in doing something easy? For that matter, what’s the fun in doing something merely improbable? As Walt Disney said, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” So, my goal for this year isn’t to graduate, it’s to write and edit an entire novel. My goal isn’t to make the most of the last year I have with friends, it’s to find a date to the infinite number of weddings I’ll be attending next summer. Someone who’s going to be in town who I can stand (and who can stand me) long enough to do this. Of course I want to do the other things too, but they’re easy. I don’t want to say I’m taking them for granted, because that will give you the wrong idea, but they’re things I trust myself to do without trying.
I like challenges. I like beating challenges. I like puzzling things out. I like winning. I’ve always had the habit of biting off more than I could chew, and then choking myself trying to get it down. I always do, though, so I suppose I’ve cultivated this ambitious streak. It’s fun to watch people’s faces, the ones who said “Seriously?”, the ones who said “Well that’s ambitious.”, the ones who scoffed.
The problem, as usual, comes in somewhere about the place people start peeking their heads and egos and emotions in. People have caught on to my attempting the impossible and winning. They’ve started to root for me. They’ve started believing in me. And now, if I fail, they know. I’ve disappointed them. Not in any tangible way that they’d ever tell me, or even think it of me. But somewhere deep down I am no longer the person who beats impossible odds and attempts things that only a crazy person would only to come out both not crazy and having completed it. I’m the person who tried the impossible, and like any other human, failed it. But that’s another closed bag for another, more melancholy, day.
“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”
Here’s to foolishness in the eyes of everyone except those few noble souls who have peeked their heads in and somehow labeled themselves “friends.” And here’s to continuing ingenuity because of them.