Blogmas #19: Ambition

And power-hungry Slytherin Loved those of great ambition.

I'm not a Slytherin, but sometimes, I get the feeling that I might be a teeny bit overambitious.

Ambition can be a great thing. It's hard to get anywhere without being motivated and aiming high. Buuuuuut sometimes I wonder if there are times when maybe I shouldn't be so ambitious. That maybe I should just chill out. Maybe even have fun instead???

Like when I started ballet classes in September. I immediately thought about how I was going to Practice Every Day so I could Improve Quickly and become Good At Ballet, and eventually progress towards a goal of dancing in pointe shoes. I hadn't even been to a single lesson yet, but I was already envisioning how I would push myself extra hard to go as far as possible, and then go even further than that.

And when I inevitably failed at practicing Every Single Day on a brand new hobby that was unlike anything I'd ever done before, I was tempted to brand myself a failure and give up. Because if you can't offer a ridiculous amount of dedication and become really, really good at a new hobby you're taking up for fun, what's even the point, right?

And that's me pretty much in all things. I love taking beginner language classes, because everything you're supposed to know is really well defined and you get the feeling that you're progressing incredibly quickly. Meanwhile, I've been struggling for years with Japanese, because my benchmark isn't "Japanese 101 level" but "native speaker fluency," and when I realize how far away I am from that, I decide I must do hardcore study to catch up. And when I can't do that hardcore study every day? Well, then I lapse on doing any study, because the little I can do doesn't feel like enough.

And yes, I am noticing the irony of writing about this in a "blog every day for a month" challenge.

The thing is, I like aiming high. I like pushing myself. I like having goals in mind. I love the feeling of accumulating skills and really feeling like I'm going somewhere with the stuff I'm doing. But, like, maybe a hobby could sometimes just be a hobby? Maybe sometimes "just do it when you feel like it" is enough?

I'll be honest. I'm not sure I even know how to do that. Just enjoy something, without making big improvement plans and setting standards that I can't possibly meet. But there's got to be a balance, right? Between pushing yourself and being too hard on yourself? A way to be motivated while remembering that it's supposed to be fun? A way to be a Ravenpuff, half hard work, half excited over learning new things. Because once you forget the "fun" part behind all your ambition, you lose the whole reason you were motivated to try that thing in the first place, and then no amount of determination will drag you along.