Life has slowed considerably and is peaceful. It’s stupid that it takes something massive happening to you to make you put your feet up good and proper and to reflect. A couple of weeks ago I was grappling with the idea of going back home and getting back into life. I suffered many sleepless, anxious nights. What if I went back and started to get anxious again and couldn’t cope?
Then whilst I was sorting through some work I came across an e-mail a friend sent me at the beginning of the year It was a quote by Theodore Roosevelt from his speech, “Citizenship in a Republic at the Sorbonne in Paris in April, 1910:
“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is not effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.“
It hit me like a truck. I haven’t been on the wrong track. The person “out there” doing battle is cool – out there doing the their darnedest for something they consider worth while, even if things do seem to keep ending in defeat, at least they’ve given it their best.
This quote made reminded me of My Chemical Romance’s set at Reading Festival this year. The first time they played there they were bottled off and though initially discouraged in the end, it only made Gerard more determined. Taking Freddie Mercury as inspiration – it also happened to him in Paris with Queen – when they next played there Gerard vowed it would be as headliners. And so it proved to be. And their show was utterly incredible – don’t think I’ve seen anyone put so much into one performance – it was passionate, it was outrageously OTT, sexy bombastic and darn good fun; they consider it to be the show of their lifetime.
As for me – I’m saying no to doubt and what the future will bring, it might well become a self fulfilling prophecy. I’m getting back into life and not looking back, keeping focused on the things that build me up. I’ll keep going forward with hope and courage and see what comes of it.