Full disclosure: I did a 6:30 a.m. Bikram class this morning, so I’m all about the positivity today. And now, I’m going to share it with the four of you who read this blog.
That’s right, big news on the blog front—massive really: I got another reader! So that brings the grand total to four! At this pace, some sort of branding effort might be in order: visors, key chains, maybe bunting…I’m just spitballin’ here.
But I digress.
It’s June, graduation time. For the youngsters, it’s time for the pool, or, if you’re like me, dance camp. For those graduating from high school, maybe there’s some separation anxiety swirling about your household. But today I’m thinking about the crop of young adults who are graduating college, looking to start their careers.
Which brings me to my disaster of a dinner last night (stick with me, this will all tie together, I promise). I kind of pride myself on making a kickin’, healthy dinner every night (or most nights, anyway). It’s not a weird Stepford wife thing, it’s more of my hobby, my passion. A passion that I get *really* into in a go to the greenmarket, buy only organic, read the labels in the grocery store, eat seasonally kind of way. You know, except when we order pizza.
Anyhow, I had it in my head to make a healthy stir fry. There was going to be a sambal sauce. I was going to use sprouted tofu, organic broccoli and brown rice. I was breaking out the lemongrass and ginger. It was going to be transcendent.
One hour later, after grating, chopping, measuring, pureeing, cooking down, I had a pan full of something that looked like cat sick. And that’s how it tasted. So I opened up the refrigerator and starting adding what I was sure would bring this saucy mess back from the brink. The addition of honey, sesame oil, rice vinegar, orange juice, peppadew juice (I know, pure desperation), chopped peppadews (beyond desperate) and teriyaki didn’t help one bit. You see where this is heading, right? Yep, down the drain.
And yet, I tried.
Of course, I don’t mean to equate one night of culinary failures on what graduates are facing today, but here’s the thing: If these young people are anything like me, there’s going to be a lot of trial and error in the next year or so. When I graduated, it was clear that I’d poured precious little time while in school thinking of my real-world life once I got out. But I knew I wanted to write. So like any good English major, I went back to school, got some practical knowledge and some hands-on experience. I kept trying, kept climbing—in some cases, literally: I actually got to go to the top of the Chrysler Building and stand out on scaffolding when workers were shining it—all because I was persistent in getting an interview, in seeing this place that not everyone gets to see.
When I was a journalist, the journey wasn’t over. Much like other fields, you had to keep learning, doing, seeing and growing. If you didn’t write about different things, stretch your comfort zone or keep expanding your knowledge base, you’d languish. It was the same thing the years I was an editor. Now I’m working on fiction writing. There is no easy road here, no quick way to publication, and, since I’ve never done this type of writing before, I’ve had a lot to learn. The point is to keep trying.
And so this concept of striving to do your best seems a fitting theme for today when so many are graduating, embarking on real world stuff. There will be days when you wobble, when you feel so spent that you can’t go any further. And yes, there will be days when you make things that look like cat sick. But keep trying. Just try. That’s all you have to do is try your hardest. Success will come with effort.
And if it doesn’t, you can always order take-out.