It’s Friday afternoon, 15:46. I am about to cry for the fourth time this week. Why? Because I am annoyed. I cry for six reasons: When I am sad – duh. When I am over-tired. When I miss my mom. And when I am angry, annoyed or frustrated. Of course, most of these have to go to the extremes before I just let the tears go. And it just happened again. For the fourth freakin’ time since Monday.
Well, firstly, I had to say goodbye to my parents before leaving for the airport on Monday morning on our way back from my sister’s birthday celebrations. Secondly, on Tuesday I was tired because of the overwhelming weekend and I already missed my mom. Thirdly, I got reprimanded for not asking a question. And finally, today I was encouraged to ask a question I did not feel I needed to ask. Sure, it might sound silly, but these things get to me. It annoys me.
There are so many quotes and sayings about “people who ask questions are >you can put the oh-so-positive trait in here< than people who don’t. Like I care. These smart quotes just make me angry. Yeah, I suppose there might be a tinge of jealousy because I am not always brave enough to actually ask a question. But you know what? I don’t have an ulcer*.
I believe you only ask a question when you can’t figure it out yourself. Like why is the number one not a prime number? I could not figure it out, so I went looking for an answer. The number 1 is not a prime number because, in order to be a prime number, the number has to be dividable by one and by itself only. So, even though the number one is dividable by 1 and by itself – which is also 1 – it does not count, because it only has 1 number to divide itself with: one. Go figure. Or perhaps a question in the lines of: Are you gay? You can try to figure it out, but eventually, if they don’t shout the answer from the closet or you don’t see physical proof, you won’t know for sure. “So, are you gay?” It really is that simple. In the same sentence, I get lank upset when someone mocks a person for not pronouncing a word correctly. Books don’t pronounce them, they show you how to spell them. And in a digital era, it is much better to be able to spell than to pronounce.
I am all for wandering as opposed to wondering. If you don’t know how to do something, try at least. Fail. Fail again. And again. In Neil Gaiman’s Make Good Art speech to the University of the Arts graduating class of 2012, Philadelphia, he says: “Make interesting, amazing, glorious, fantastic mistakes.” He also made a new year’s wish on 31 December 2011 which resonates with me way more than the “one who asks a question is a fool for a minute and one who does not is a fool for life” BS.
From Gaiman’s journal:
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
And that is what I will do. I will explore and I will make my mistakes and I will stand around being the apparent fool. Because you know what? I will figure it out and then I will remember it for longer and maybe, somewhere along the line, I will learn something new because I have been pushing the wrong buttons, reading unnecessary super-awesome articles and taking scenic unseen routes.
So there, any questions?
Yours in lesser tears than half an hour ago,