By Kyle Peveto, Arts Editor
I drive a Ford Explorer. My 11-year-old car is good for two things: wasting enough fuel for three vehicles and stalling out at stop lights.
Friday I stalled for a second while my car missed, but it got up and went pretty quickly. In the second or two it took for me to get going, someone honked at me. The person passed me as quickly as he/she could and I scoffed at the person’s lack of patience.
When I speed past a granny doing 35 in a 55, I scoff at all old people on the road. It’s not until I’m well past the offending elder that I realize how offensive I can be, too.
I’m an American. I would rather watch the movie before reading the book, drive my gas-guzzling SUV than ride my bike and I would much rather eat a bland, greasy hamburger before cooking something better myself. And you can bet I’ll go through the drive-through to get that burger.
We live in the most impatient culture in the world. It’s ingrained in us to be that way. Look at our movies. In the Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio learns karate in a month or so by washing cars, standing on poles and painting fences. Robert Redford drags the New York Knights from the cellar in less than half a season in The Natural (it’s not only the movies, The Natural was first a book written by Bernard Malamud, who won the Pulitzer Prize for another work). Winning franchises take years to develop.
Countless examples like these affect my mindset when I think of my future. I used to mourn over the fact that I am not the best at things I like to do, but I am not willing to do the things needed to be great.
While talking to friends about our futures, I conveyed to them the fact that I will have to pay many dues in my profession. Everyone will. Right out of college, few will be able to do exactly what we set our minds on doing. Usually, our dreams will shift and change when new opportunities arise and new talents become evident.
After talking to my friends, I went home and read an article in January’s Outside magazine by Mark Jenkins about cross country skiing and the “apprenticeships of the outdoors.” The author states that these apprenticeships never end.
Toward the end of the article Jenkins writes: “Mastery is an illusion, grace a momentary gift.” The statement struck me in its simplicity. It makes me want to appreciate the small windows of grace I attain at times when riding my bike or writing a piece for this newspaper.
The older I get, the more I realize I will never be complete and it makes me happy. How boring would it be to achieve perfection?