As a child, I never idolised any famous figures apart from Dennis the Menace, but he’s a cartoon character so that doesn’t count. I never really understood why anybody would be obsessed about somebody they didn’t know. I’d look at old statues of very serious men with bird poo dribbling down their stony faces, wondering what was so special about them. After starting this personal challenge I’ve realised why we, the human people, give so much admiration towards certain individuals and achievers; and how I’ll never be one of them.
I guess I was always going to fail, I suppose trying something new every day was quite a tall order, particularly for someone who has “the brains of a slug” (the words of my science teacher, although I think he was having a bad day and his comments weren’t based on fact). However I’m not a stupid person, certainly not when compared intellectually with a terrestrial gastropod mollusc – all I am is but an average guy.
The type of average guy who says ‘I’m on a diet so I’ll have just one small piece of cake’ then ends up eating it all.
The type of average guy who has to Google another term for a slug and doesn’t just possess that knowledge.
The type of average guy who sets himself a yearlong challenge, then fails eleven weeks in, as it’s been raining solidly for two weeks, so he can’t be arsed to leave the house. I mean seriously do you know how cold it is outside? No way.
I’m that type of average guy.
I am, of course, disappointed that I failed, particularly as some accurately predicted I would. I only missed out on one day, unfortunately that one day soon turned into two weeks (oops!) I thought about lying, just for the sake of the blog, but that seemed stupid. Friends kept asking me how the challenge was going, I’d say ‘Really well thanks. I’ve done so many new things this week, it’s changing my life’ – liar, big fat liar, big fatty pants on fire. So I can’t lie anymore; I, the average guy, have failed.
I realise now why we praise people who run the fastest, or write the best, or make the most money, because unfaltering perseverance and commitment to personal change is really quite something. I once walked past celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who was filming in the street for one of his many TV programmes. I admired the way he was jumping up and down, enthusiastically shouting at the crew, ‘Come on, let’s do this!’. I thought to myself, ‘There’s a man who has a lust for life, a great achiever, someone who embraces every moment.’…At the same time I also thought, ‘What an absolute cock!’, so I’m not overly worried that I don’t have the genes of the celebrated few and I’m, indeed, prone to failure. But the big question is: What now?
I guess I could just give up, go back to the world of laziness, day dreaming and a slow simmering undercurrent of frustration, because in a weird way that’s easier. Yet I don’t want to – every time I tried something new, however hard or scary it was, I felt a little more alive (apart from the time I tried Cock Soup, that really didn’t help achieve anything). I made a promise on day 59 to commit to seeing something through, I want my word to mean something, so I guess I’ll dust myself down (or is it dust myself off, I can’t remember, off sound’s a little rude – it must be down), pick myself up and carry on for the sake of the average guy. Yes.
Besides I’ve still got to prove to that barman in the Hogshead that I DO have sparkle, if not a slightly faulty sparkle.
So on to the next 294 new things, here goes…