Sunday Scribblings – Experimental lament

When I was very young I wish I’d gotten the idea—because I wouldn’t have tolerated being told—that I might have an easier go at my life if I were to consider it an experiment… 

Suppose knowledge of the scientific method existed within me strongly along with a curiosity so robust and so precocious as to compel me to note my every critical observation, to raise questions, formulate hypotheses, make predictions, and get immediately about the business of testing, accumulating data and arriving at conclusions.   And perhaps, after many observations and experiments pursued earnestly and early enough in life, I would be so fortunate as to arrive at a theory about my life and self on which to base future discoveries and successes that could be applied assuredly in my prime and well beyond it.

Suppose my mentality had been utterly unburdened by rumors of the pomp and circumstance of life, and existed within me so free and easy and light that I zestfully and purposefully approached each worthy desire and well-thought-out plan as if it were an audition.  Not something that was going to go big bad and down on my “permanent record” if I didn’t get it right this time or the next time, or strike out on the third time.

Instead, suppose my psyche was set to audition mode, where yes, I’d like to get the part, but I know that every day brings a new audition—a work assignment, a meeting with a colleague or potential employer or client or friend, a chance to make a good impression on those closest to me—and all I needed to concern myself with is doing the best I can.  Suppose I know that eventually I’ll get a part, and even if it doesn’t seem like the best part, I still want to do my best at it because I never know who’s paying attention and where that attention might take me now or years down the road.

The audition concept came up on Earl Mardle’s blog.  I loved it and commented that it relieves one of the spotlight pressure to get it perfect for posterity the first time and it mobilizes what’s missing from that kind of get-it-right-or-else thinking.  It singles out the uncomplicated desire to do our best so that we can focus on that, and it opens us up to a level of excitement and a lightness and freedom of movement around hope and endless possibilities, some of the best stuff of life.

So suppose when I was very young, maybe approaching my teens, that I got the freeing concepts of life as an experiment, of happenings within my day as auditions.  Suppose that edge allowed me to find out more quickly what I wanted to be and do, where I wanted to go and end up.  Suppose it enabled me to fit more learning, more love, more fun, more meaningful and fulfilling things—activities, careers, causes, pursuits—into my life.  Like the time travel concept, all that knowledge and miraculous fitting in of things would have altered everything and I wouldn’t be here writing this.  Would I choose missing this precious moment to experience all that?  Oh hell yes!

But that is how I answer without really knowing what that seemingly golden path of wisdom truly would have been like.  Maybe I would be here writing this, only lamenting a whirlwind tour’s effects on me.  So screech to a halt, knock off this nonsense, and pan back to here and now, where I’m fresh off what actually did go down, where I do now know all those things and can make the most of them going forward.


What do you remember thinking as a child or teen in relation to your future?

Would you have done anything differently?

What concept has helped you the most in life to date?


Photos above by Getty Images



Click here for more on Prompt #101 – The Experiment or Experimental from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

11 responses to “Sunday Scribblings – Experimental lament

  1. Your writing got me to thinking again, as it always does. You know, I discovered a real appreciation for Country Music once some years ago while driving an all- nighter through Kentucky and Tennessee. It was all there was on the radio. I was surprised to like it as much as I did. Does the Scientific Method allow for the random and chance event like a broken tape deck to help us find our destiny? Country Music has been a blessing to my life in all ways since that time, (except, of course, for the chew ) .

  2. From my perspective, the concept of the audition seems like an immense amount of pressure to anyone, let alone a young girl.
    As far as I can remember, what I expected from my future is that I’d turn out to be just like everyone else. It’s funny, isn’t it? But that didn’t happen. If anything, I’m less like other people now than I was back then…

  3. Bass: I guess it would if enough people in the test group had their tape decks break and subsequently found their destinies. Then the secret to life would be to buy the cheapest tape player made so it’d crap out quickly so you could get about the business of your destiny so you could enjoy it for a good long while before you died. But until that time it’d be a George Strait-less existence. :-(

    Devil Mood: LOL! N was saying a similar thing regarding the word “audition.” In addition to words’ definitions, they have so many associations attached to them that are different for each person depending on a million different things. Just the look or sound of a word can affect us. You know how words used in situations that were negative or positive to us can forever change those words in our minds. Audition to me is light and bouncy and hopeful. Whereas N noted it feels more pressurized to him like it does to you.

    Interesting, your perspective on your future! I can’t remember being in touch enough to even think how my future would be. I do, though, remember having the usual fascinations with famous people—musicians, athletes, and models mostly—and wishing I could be famous one day. Yeah, I guess that’s it mostly. Well, it hasn’t happened yet! I’d better get going!

  4. I like that you somehow made experiments/auditions so freeing. Approaching life as we’ll see what happens, its a learning experiment until we figure it out. You brought to the table a very different take and context to the scientific method than what I’d ever thought of it.

    Its funny because I’m finding more and more that I am coming to this place where I am who I am and I’m really enjoying it. I don’t think the me in high school would like the me now. . . after a lot of reflection when this realization came to me and how much I enjoy the me now, I still don’t think I would change anything about the past. It has led me to this wonderful l place.

  5. Hey, thanks for stopping by my site and checking it out so thoroughly, that caused me to come here and read some deeply provocative writing on life and how we live it. Its interesting who i was in highschool and how much of my brain I feel was still so very underdeveloped then…yet I loved who I was and didn’t believe I would have a future – I thought I would never survive to see a future! The only concept that I had then – which has helped me to date was to live my life passionately. Great meeting you!

  6. Macii: good points in your second paragraph. That’s where I’m at exactly and I know my high school me would have been so disappointed with the me now!
    Thank you for stopping by!

    Amarettogirl: good stuff, what you wrote here… The only concept you had then, to live your life passionately, was your purpose as an artist!
    Thanks for visiting.

  7. Mez: Yeah, I’ve seen enough threads of wisdom woven through your posts, like a map to working yourself out, to know no one’s gotta worry about you! You’re well on your way, and you’ll probably get to the discovery end zone before I do ‘cause you’ve got backbone! I admire that. :-)

  8. Aww u really think so? Wow am elated then. I really hope i can work my way up from miasma of dark feelings that occasionaly surround me. I guess am progressin :)

  9. Mez: For sure! LOL re: miasma! Perfect. I got some of that going on… The rollercoaster highs to lows, and the lows can be pretty black… It’s hormones to blame :-( Sometimes the black spurs an “interesting” creativity, though, so that’s an upside (which you only see as an upside when you’re not wallowing in it!) LOL! One to two St. John’s Wort capsules per day and a few years under my belt and things are getting better!

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