07 Apr 2022

Trying vs. really trying

How do you know what you want to do with your life? Can it really just be one thing? Chances are you have many interests between topics, skills, or activities. You wish you had all the time in the world to engage in all of them, and yet, you hope that eventually this will show you a “passion”.

When I was in my early teens I drew pirate ships or cars every day after school, I also made incomplete board game concepts that helped me understand the process of making more complex products. I then played with animation. First with stop-motion using play doh and later digital 2d in Flash. This digital turning point allowed me to play with the scripting language in Flash, or create websites. I later tried Dreamweaver, which exposed me to a more utilitarian way of creating visual and interactive experiences. Turns out this was a skill that was in high demand, so my career in the web was born.

This exploration of different skills and mediums helped me find a profitable profession, but sometimes I feel as though it all happened too fast. As if I didn’t get to “really try” my other interests like I did the web. Am I missing out? Is it too late to change course?

Those two questions, the last one in particular, are a bit absolute. They imply I can’t engage in my other interests without fully committing which is kinda ironic, considering that I got into web development by not fully committing to anything initially. My commitments were to reach a natural stopping point. I didn’t create masterpieces, but I had fun. It could’ve led to nothing and I would’ve still enjoyed them.

The resounding pressure to do something great shows every time I see what others do and wonder if I can bring a unique perspective. But that’s where the difference between trying and really trying is important. Trying means something about the activity or topic caught my attention and my curiosity cannot be silenced. Really trying means I’m ready to take the next step. Whatever that next step means.