Today is my 30th birthday and it has made me want to reflect on some of the best lessons that I’ve had in my 20s. Let’s classify this as my first mid-life crisis. So, let’s start here. As someone that religiously watched Dance Moms, a TV targeted for pre-teen girls that shame small children for learning how to dance, I don’t always practice what I preach. I sit my little butt on the couch every Monday to watch people fall in love on national TV. I talk about how weird that one girl’s eyebrows are until the Friday after the show aired. Then, empty and without purpose for the weekend, I am rejuvenated on Monday when I can get more shit-talk ammunition.
We love to talk shit. There’s no better way to say that. It gives us drama without actually affecting our day-to-day lives in any way. My friends and I have had more fights about reality TV than anything real. I’ve watched America’s Got Talent, American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, and I’d go on but the list would further show how pathetic I am, and it is my birthday after all.
I love those shows, but I don’t think it helps any of our blossoming self-confidence. Sure, you see people on these programs that make you think, “So they do exist?” However, you also see amazing people just totally get rejected by B-List Celebs. If that woman who can sing the most beautiful song in the entire world just got 4-x’s because they didn’t like her choice of Kelly Clarkson song, what the feck am I doing with my cheap-ass ukulele in my apartment? Exactly. You a loser, Lis.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this lesson was actually one of the first memorable ones that I’ve had in my 20s, so I didn’t even have my ukulele then. I learned this lesson back in 2009 when I was living abroad in Spain. See, I had always done musicals growing up, I was in the local chamber choir and I sang a tune here and there, but I was just ok. I was probably choosing the wrong Kelly Clarkson song, you feel me? At that time, I was pretty horrified by the idea that I was just ok, not great. What’s the point of even doing it? It’s not like I’ll win American Idol? So I didn’t sing in college, and I didn’t feel justified to pursue anything creative for years. I went to college to be an English major ( surprise I was also humbled there too). Actually, my entire education from 18-22 was an ass-whooping where I was pretty friggin’ humbled, now that I review it, but that’s not the point. The point is, I remember seeing all these guitars lined up in Madrid, at a time where I read the Twilight Books in English, just to get some english again, and I decided I needed a new outlet. At first I had my usual thought, why play if I’m not going to be a famous singer? My host Father jumped on the subway with me, he walked me into a store, and helped me to buy my first guitar (because, Spanish). Oh, you can just do it because you like it, and that’s reason enough to share it? Oh!
That family listened to me practice in my bedroom and they encouraged me to play for shitty songs for them, even though I kind of sucked. I was never going to be Kelly Clarkson, even on her worst day, and that was totally fine. You don’t have to be the best at something to do it.
Eventually, writing some basic songs on my guitar would get me through a lot of crappy break-ups. It helped me get into acting, which eventually lead me to creating YouTube videos and then, it brought me here today. So, to anyone out there that sucks at something, just remember, you don’t have to be the best to do it. You just have to do it, because you never know what might come from it.