What happens when you give your very best and it isn’t enough? Growing up my biggest goal became to get my dad’s approval. I was always just this close. I worked at it for the first 22 years of my life. This quest had a lot of side effects including abandoning the things that were dear to my heart, such as soccer, drumming, and drawing. He felt that sports were pride inducing, drums were of the devil, and drawing was play not real man’s work. So I dropped all those things.
Fast forward to my mid and late twenties after I’ve gained the courage to leave the cult we were in and let go of my dad’s approval. Those things I loved as a kid we’re still desires and passions that I had. But I hadn’t done them for over half of my life. It was easy to compare myself to where I would have been if I had been allowed, or even encouraged, to pursue the things that I loved. But I couldn’t think about that.
So instead I picked up the sticks and asked my church if I could practice on their drum set. It took weeks of practice for my nerves and muscles to remember how to play. I bought some cleats and signed up for the house team of the local indoor soccer club so I could figure out how to play my favorite sport. I bought a sketch pad notebook and pulled out some old cartooning books I had saved and began to practice drawing again.
The days of dreaming of playing college soccer or or being a well-known drummer in a band were definitely gone, but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t find great joy in doing those things that bring me pleasure.
I’ve been able to play indoor soccer with some amazing people and increase my skill in my late twenties and early thirties, when I’d never played as a kid on a team. I got pretty decent too! I’ve picked up volleyball, tennis, and pickleball along the way. I also ended up playing drums for my church at the time for four years, and dealt with performance anxiety to experience quite a bit of emotional healing through that experience.
This is how I intend to continue living. I don’t want to ever believe that I’m too old to try something new, or that it’s too late do something enjoyable. What I have is right now. It may not be amazing, or what I could have been if things had been different, but I’m not going to let what could have been keep me from experiencing what will be. I’m going to live life fully and pursue my joy!
Who’s with me?