One often ponders the meaning of striking out. It could pertain to a young lad not quite making it to second base, or even first if he is really unlucky. It could refer to that all American past time that involves the bat, the ball and the call of the umpire which brings the image to mind in the first place. It could mean trying something new and not quite getting it right the first time around. It could mean, as it does for the purpose of this post, adventure. A new direction. An opportunity for growth. Striking out on your own. Our topic for today.
How many times in our lives do we strike out ? I guess it depends on your level of adventure and how often your parents ask you to leave the house. My first opportunity to strike out on my own came when I went to Girl Guide camp when I was 11 and then 12. This was a solid week away from home with new girls, new leaders and the wonderful new experience of latrines. I could have happily forgone that particular part of the experience but it provided its own comic relief. One girl dropped her flashlight down and there was no badge big enough to make poop diving remotely attractive to retrieve it. It shone quite happily for a few days before succumbing to either dead batteries or being continuously peed on. I then went to England for six weeks for my 15th birthday. Pretty snazzy eh ? I was one lucky girl. Now I’m not sure how on my own I actually was as a I had flight staff looking after me and a battalion of family at every stop. However, I would consider this my first international foray into independence. It was an exciting time that taught me some life skills I will always use. The next time I decided to strike out on my own was to go to college. I hadn’t actually even planned to do this. I was at a bit of a loose end and received an unexpected phone call from a college that I don’t recall applying to. Regardless of the circumstances, I found myself accepted, ensconced in residence and embracing the college experience. This is where I discovered that striking out on my own with a bunch of girls that I didn’t know and couldn’t stand evoked the other meaning of striking out. Living in estrogen hell couldn’t end soon enough.
Striking out can mean lots of things to lots of different people. For me, it has often signified the start of a new adventure. I guess I consider my current journey with the TAW a way of striking out. By exploring the restoration of my creativity, I am also striking out the past which may have contributed to my creativities demise in the first place. I am laying down the foundation and strength to continue to strike out in to a potential career of writing and hopefully won’t strike out when I try this. We are playing fast and loose with the striking out today aren’t we ?
I guess the point of my ramblings today is that Spring is the perfect time to strike out. Strike out the doldrums and coma inducing darkness that plagues us from November to April. Strike out the negative thoughts that dampen our creative spirit and hold us hostage to that nagging little voice that says we can’t possibly succeed. Strike out in a new direction which can only enrich and teach and provide life material worth talking about.
This little blurb is prompted by the fact that I played baseball with my son for the first time today. On my own. Just me and him. My son who shouldn’t have the coordination to throw a ball never mind bike and swim and scooter and all the other things he does. My son whose Aspergian perseverations sometimes get in the way of new experiences and new friends and new ideas. My son whose ability to strike out on his own often keeps me awake at night with the worry that he won’t. My son who almost struck me in the face today with the damn ball as he practiced pitching. My son who laughed like a crazy man as he struck his mom out at bat. We both learned some things today and it took our relationship in a new direction. One that I hope will allow him the confidence to strike out on his own and his mother the strength to let him. After all, I have a life full of memories and experiences that I never would have had if I hadn’t taken a chance on myself and my ability to strike out. Whatever the meaning might have been at the time.