Thursday, April 30, 2015

On being awesome

In an exchange with Cedar Sanderson and the lovely Mrs. Correia this morning, they helped clarify something that's been rattling around the back of my head for a while: Awesome is in the eye of the observer.

The core of being awesome is this: "I wanted to do it, so I found a way and did it."

To the person doing it, whatever it may be - writing a book, keeping a blog going ten years, learning to swim from youtube videos, flying a plane four thousand miles, staggering the last five yards in a timed 12-mile march in full combat load after your body has flat given up... this is rarely awesome. Mostly, it's a lot of frustration, a lot of time and effort and pain and just getting up again and again after every setback. And then figuring out what went wrong or could go better, and tackling fixing that. Then, getting up and doing it all over again.

It's everyone else who hasn't done that but always wanted to, who judges the effort and often the results awesome.

Keep doing. Keep finding a way. Keep going. You'll get where you want to go. But you won't recognize just how awesome you are to other people... because it's not your judgement.


  1. Good point: it's not our call. Too many think of themselves as "awesome" when all they've done is something meh.

  2. We lose perspective because we're too close. It's like art - when you're nose to nose with your painting/drawing all you can see are the hasty marks where you weren't patient enough to make it perfect. But stepping back, looking at it through someone else's eyes, and there it is, awesome. It's just that during the long slog you're only focused on all the little things that don't come together as a harmonious whole until you're done.

  3. Forest? All I see is this tree... And agree with Rev. Most of us consider ourselves average at best... We 'know' what we go through every day!