OK, I admit it: I hate doing things I’m bad at. There’s just
something about galling way, way short of the mark or, well, completely
stinking at something that I’m just not so crazy about. Can ya blame me?
Take surfing, for example. To me, paddling in what feels
like a sea of Jell-O for miles only to be pushed back by one wave is the
equivalent of my personal hell. Golf? Half the time I can hit fab drives down
the fairway. The other half? Well, let’s just say they don’t call me “worm
burner” for nothing. And, for someone who is a really great cook, I can’t bake
anything so save my life (seriously, how can anyone over the age of 6 suck at
But this summer, instead of dodging defeat like the
surf/golf/cookie coward that I am, I am going to try again. Why? Because once
in a while, you’ve gotta let failure be an option. I know, I know, this goes
against what they teach you in school, where it seems like everything has major
consequences and, if you screw up, it will impact the. rest. of. your. Life.
But we’re not talking about bombing your bio final or
flubbing in the final minutes of your field hockey championship game. This is
more about breaking down all of those barriers you’ve put up around yourself
because you think you just can’t do something so there’s no point in even
But there is a point. And summer—with its three months of
glorious freedom—is the perfect time in life to not be so perfect. I’m not
suggesting you throw this-could-get-me-grounded-for-life caution to the sweet
sunny breeze, but there’s nothing wrong with being bad at something once in a
Awful at badminton? Hey, at least you got the birdie over
the net! Torched your fish tacos? A little charred, but still tasty! Ditched by
your BBQ date? Whatever, that new lifeguard is 10 times hotter.
Not that accomplishment isn’t amazing (I truly get more
satisfaction out of a perfect PowerPoint presentation than any normal person
should), but doing something badly, just for fun, is its own art as well.
So try it and see what happens. And if anyone needs me,
check the Kauai coast. Or the back nine. And try a cookie. I’m here all summer
BY KAREN THE EDITOR ON 5/16/2011 7:00:00 AM
POSTED IN In the mag, Editor's Blog, June/July 2011