Drilling in all Directions

Lots of nice stuff can come from drilling down on one thing: you get to be really good at something, you might win some prizes and meet some cool people along the way, but what about all the other awesome stuff that you didn’t get to do because you were so focused on only being good at one thing?

I read a book a while ago that really brought it home for me. It was about an amazing mountain climber who climbed impossible climbs. He was able to do this because he has climbed since he was a kid and he totally drilled down on it and got to be one of the best climbers in the world. He’s still really good at it. He also seems like a really nice guy. There’s a movie coming out about him next month that I’ll definitely watch (trailer below).

Until reading the climbing book, I’d always wondered what it would have been like to have become really good at one thing. I’d always chastised myself for not sticking with anything long enough to gain the respect of my peers for my expertise. Sure, I’m pretty good at some stuff, ok at other stuff and piss-poor at pretty much everything else,  but I’m really expert at nothing. The phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” has always sat just on my periphery, haunting me.

What I didn’t realise though, is that the whole time I’ve been drilling sideways, I have actually developed an expertise; one that I didn’t recognise until today: I’m an expert at living. I know how to apply myself to living a life that matters and the only way I was able to develop this awesome skill was to immerse myself in the entirety of life. To become everything and nothing. To be all of it at the expense of none of it. To experience and learn everything I can about what it means to be alive right now, the best time there ever was to be alive.

Being an expert at life means that I’m a better runner because I’m a dancer, I’m a better dancer because I’m a skipper, I’m a better skipper because I’m a rider, I’m a better rider because I’m a hiker, I’m a better hiker because I’m a reader, I’m a better reader because I’m a writer, I’m a better writer because I loved and I lost and all of it because I’m a survivor. Each thing I do and each thing I’ve ever done has lead me to the next and the next, and the next. Everything has built on the shoulders of the thing that came before it and man-o-man, I’ve built myself one shit-hot castle of a life; the whole thing made of golden bricks.

I know it’s pretty unlikely that I will ever get really good at anything other than being good at being alive and that’s ok because I’m going to keep drilling sideways.

Drill sideways by way of adventure





Scared but not

At the moment I’m working really hard on not letting fear get to me. Basically I’m on the verge of having a total freak out, but I’m somehow managing to keep it under control, which, if you knew me, you’d realise was some kind of wayward miracle.

There’s lots of shit going on that warrants a freak out – a new job, a new way of living, making hard decisions, my first half marathon and of course, the big one: The Women’s Adventure Film Tour. Aaaargh! Help! This is how I look on the outside:


This is how I look on the inside:

freak out

That’s because I don’t want to see this:

empty theatre

Well, not that I would really see that, because that’s actually the Sydney Opera House, not the Moncrief Theatre, but still, it’s empty and that makes me sad.

I’m scared, but not. The “not” part of that comes from the way I’m choosing to see myself in relation to the fear and the faith I’ve got that everything will work out in the end. I feel like that because I know that worrying about the event won’t actually change the way it all pans out. Worrying about it will make me cranky and that has never helped anyone AT ALL….EVER. In fact, I can recall quite a few times when getting cranky has actually made things a lot worse than they had to be if you can believe that! Yeah, yelling, stomping and throwing yourself on the ground doesn’t work. Not once you’re past the age of two. Letting go of the outcome, but without letting go of the personal responsibility I assumed when I agreed to host the tour has really helped me let go of worry. That means I’m free to enjoy the adventure of being scared but not.

Be scared, but do it anyway