Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Let's talk about killjoys

Several members of my family (and some friends) are total killjoys. I'm not sure if I'm just the kind of person who attracts them or something, but I've decided that I really, really dislike them.

Sometimes I'll have a great idea, or I'll start planning a huge project or just plain dream big and then one of my killjoy friends will come along and deflate me. For instance, when I mentioned that I'd like to open a bakery (because for those who don't know me, I'm actually an excellent cook and baker), the reactions I got fell into two categories. There were the really nice ones who know how to be supportive and kind about ideas, like my aunt. She was like, "You'd do SO WELL at that. You've got the skill, the passion--go for it!" Then there were the people like my mother, who was like, "Really? You want to open a business? You know that's really hard, right? And it takes loads of money, and you might do really badly and then lose all your life's savings." Gee, thanks, Mom. I'll just jump right on opening that bakery tomorrow...

What I don't get is why these people who care about you can't just support you. What joy do they derive from deflating you? What kind of favour do they think they're doing you by encouraging you to do nothing but lead a mundane, boring life where you take you risks? Do they think they'll be the cool ones if you fail and they were right? Or do they just think we're not capable of growing and learning and making mistakes on our own?

In any case, it makes you wonder... What would have happened to Michael Jordan if he'd taken the skeptics seriously and decided not to train at basketball? Would we even know who Björk is if she'd listened to everyone who told her she'd never actually get out of Iceland? Where would JK Rowling be if she'd stopped sending her manuscript to publishers after the first 10 rejections?

At the end of the day, I'd rather be more like Michael Jordan, Björk or JKR than like the people who tell me not to go for it. Why should people choose anything less for themselves?

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