When it comes to new experiences, the philosophy I have very recently adopted revolves around saying yes now and figuring out the rest later.
I’m not particularly brave. If I can say yes, then the hardest part for me is already over. Giving myself permission to do something I have no skills in and knowing I probably won’t be good at it, violently goes against my control freak nature.
As part of my current personality like to know that the environment I’m going into, I will not just survive in, but also dominate. It’s not the best trait in the world, and I’m not always proud of it, but it does keep me on my toes when I use it to my advantage.
When I was younger I would only do the things I knew I could do. For instance, I wouldn’t climb the advanced ladder on the playground because I knew there was a chance I could fall off. My ego would, and still does, get in the way of me attempting anything that might make me look a little bit tragic and idiotic.
Understanding that this was a part of my subconscious thought process, came through theatre actually. I did Ballet and other styles of dance for ten years, and every year there would a concert. Every year when I was younger I would get hopelessly nervous before performing. I didn’t come off as nervous just grumpy and irritable, I fitted right in.
Then every time when I performed, no matter how sick or how stressed I was, as soon as the lights hit my face with their heat, and the audience was there, watching me, my body would kick into action. I never froze up, no matter how many times I thought I was going to. After a few years, I started noticing this and I guess it became a positive feedback loop in my head.
I convinced myself that on stage, no matter what was happening, my body would be there to kick into action. And because I had convinced myself of this, there was no way for me to not believe it. I became a walking, talking placebo effect when it came to performance.
But hey, if it works it works. To this day, I have never ever frozen up on stage. And when I started acting I never forgot my lines or my stage directions. On stage is the only place in the world, I feel like I am unstoppable.
The stage was and will always be my happy place.
Looking back on this placebo effect now, I think this is really just my urge to control whatever situation I was in. Except it came through as ‘Talent’. My ego or vanity or whatever it is, is not going to physically let me screw up in front of what it perceives as an audience.
Upon understanding this about myself, I started saying yes to things that were hopelessly out of my comfort zone. I went to NYDS, worked professionally in the film industry and I voyaged on The Spirit Of New Zealand.
I’ve started trying to take advantage of this competitive, egotistical side of me and put it to use furthering my experience and knowledge of the world around me. With age and a little maturity, I’ve tried to push myself to become better at looking and feeling like an idiot. I’m proud to say I’m almost quite skilled at it now, and I do it almost every day.
It’s still a struggle but with that to balance the ego, this match made in heaven makes up my learning process.
I never know if I’m going to be actually good at something or not, but I know that if I throw myself in at the deep end of the swimming pool, my body and my mind will not let me drown. I might not swim, but I won’t drown.
And I think that’s just how I learn new things.
So with the ridiculously high hopes of not being so terrible I break all the computers in the building, and delete all code ever, my sister and I were booked on a flight for Wellington the coming weekend to attend RailsBridge, an introductory coding course for the programming language Ruby.