Short answer: No.
So, this is a question I get sometimes about any number of things in life.
When I’m physically ill because I’m so stressed/nervous leading up to a Groundlings evaluation;
or when I’m reduced to crying in the fetal position over fundraising ’cause I feel like everything I’m doing is failing;
when I’m constantly disappointed in second places and view them as complete losses
(I’m still upset with myself over getting a silver instead of a gold in math pentathlon in elementary school [*shakes head at self over making a stupid mistake*]), sometimes people ask, “Aurora, do you care a bit too much about things?”
“Is anything ever fun to you?”
I’m pretty sure things are fun to me. But, I’m also not positive that I understand the definition of fun in the way other people do. I think it’s really fun to compete – and mainly to win. I think it’s really fun to be excellent at things. Some people have fun just being on a team – even if they come in 9th at whatever they’re doing. I usually won’t find something like that fun.
However, all of that only applies to things at which I conceivably could, be good and/or things in which I truly care about progressing (for instance some theater/music related stuff).
I know I’m horrible at running (which I mention since it’s such a focus of this blog). I’m never going to win the Boston Marathon. I don’t need to be the best at that. I set a goal – to run a race. I do it. I call it a day…
Sometimes that super competitive part of me rears her head and starts to get obsessed about times and things… While I believe in always improving, I’m trying to live a somewhat balanced/healthy life, and I’m doing my best to have a hobby that’s just a hobby – where I can be happy just running for fun.
(Of course, I’d be lying if I said I’d be content never qualifying for Boston. So, I never can let a hobby just fully be a hobby with no goals whatsoever, can I? And that’s probably healthy, right?)
I guess, what I’m trying to say, is that a part of me is sort of trying to balance my life… a little bit. Kind of.
But the main part of me is the “if you’re not first, you’re last” mindset. If I don’t win, if I’m not the best (and sometimes even if I am, but I didn’t do as well as I felt I could do), then I’m unfulfilled.
I’ve gotten way more kind of “crunchy” and “peaceful” and blah after open-heart surgery, but my tigress inside still exists. And I love her. And no matter how carefree I get, she will never be obliterated. And I don’t want her to be.
While most people think it’s not good to have your happiness revolve around competitions with yourself and others, and around your goals – I think it’s actually awesome. I think it pushes you to keep striving for more and more stuff.
I mean, it makes people annoyed with you sometimes if you can’t get over stuff. And it sometimes make you ignore everyone in your life for whatever your project at the time is. (And people don’t generally love that.)
But, have you ever read about the most successful people who changed everything? That’s how they seem to be. Michael Jackson was insufferable when it came to the search for perfection. Everyone around him had to constantly give their best work – even better than what they’d ever imagined they could do. And look at the products we got as a result of his relentlessness.
Crazy (and awesome) pre-surgery Aurora still doesn’t exist yet in her pure, undiluted form.
(I don’t know why I think that year changed me so much. But unfortunately, it did.) But, there have been parts of this year where people have seen her. (That’s when they ask me if I care too much about things.)
And my answer to whether I care too much about things is, no. Of course I don’t care too much about things, because that’s impossible to do. It is not possible to care too much.