"You can get better." It wasn't until I heard those words that I realized a) how true they are, and b) how much I needed to hear them. Because whether we're talking about running or writing, you can get better. Don't dismiss something right off the bat because you don't feel you have a natural talent for it. What is natural talent anyway: the result of good genes, of luck? Bah. From a young age we are told that some people are simply born brilliant at some things, and there's nothing we can do about it if we aren't. "Oh, I'm just not an artist," says someone who can't draw like da Vinci on a first attempt. "I'm not musical," "I clearly don't have an athletic bone in my body," "I'm just not a math person." I've probably said all those things and more in my lifetime, excusing my less-than-stellar work as the result of my not having a certain skill. Well, that's just lazy. Edison said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. I'm inclined to think he's right.
Do you think that people who are successful are successful just because they're lucky? Maybe they had a few things in their favor, but the truth is, no matter how gifted you are at something, you still have to work hard to get anywhere. Even if you're born with the voice of an angel, if you don't do anything with it, you're not going to be a famous singer.
So if you're like me and you're afraid that all your literary ambitions are shot because you're bad at both plotting and poetry, or that you're going to fail cross-country because you can't run 5 miles without stopping, no way Jose, then don't worry. Because you can get better. It will probably be hard and you will probably want to give up and proclaim that you aren't cut out for this sort of thing, but if you want to improve, you have to keep going. I mean, I remember when I couldn't even make it a full lap around the track (1/4 of a mile) without pausing to rest. Now I can go about 2 miles without stopping. Obviously, I still have a ways to go, but it's encouraging to see that progress. Give yourself a little more credit. You can do it. You're just going to have to try a little more.
This was mostly written to comfort and encourage myself. But if anyone else found any meaning in it then I am glad. On that note...I'm almost ready to sweep the remnants of summer under the carpet and usher in fall...almost, but not quite. Before I say goodbye to this season, I have one last adventure ahead of me. I'm going to be in Kansas City from tomorrow until Sunday, the day before school starts (!). See you then, and enjoy the last days of summer!