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  • Lucy Elliott

Two bikes



There's an old saying (that I may or may not have made up) that you can't ride two bikes with one ass.


Well...you can...technically. Kinda. But it takes a great deal of engineering. First, you'll probably have to disassemble them both in order to reassemble them into a single vehicle. So you'll have to learn bike construction. If you don't already have two bikes and the requisite tools, you will need to purchase or otherwise acquire them. You may get the thing built, but then people will tell you that it doesn't even count as a bike anymore because it has more than two wheels. So you probably wouldn't be allowed to ride it in the Tour de France or other bike related sporting events. Also, assuming you already know how to ride a single bike, you'll have to learn whatever new fangled way is required by this monstrosity you've created. And lastly, even if you figure out the mechanics of it, it'll probably take twice the strength and energy of a regular bike just to get the dang thing moving. So you have to ask yourself a question. While it may be possible, is it worth it?


All this is a roundabout analogy to express my frustration and glacially incremental growth that comes with attempting to master, or even achieve basic competence, at multiple mediums. Writing. Illustrating. Children's books. Graphic novels. Storyboards. Screen plays. Watercolors. Digital paint. All of it. I want to use all of it. Because to me they aren't separate, they are all ways to tell a story. They are all ingredients. They are all tools. And I want to be good at all of them because I love all of them. And I didn't even touch on sewing and sculpting, taking my 2D ideas and making them real in 3D. THAT'S A WHOLE 'NOTHER DIMENSION TO MASTER!


And there just straight up aren't enough hours in the day. Even if I didn't have a full-time office job, even if I wasn't a parent, even if I did art all day, I'd still probably feel like there weren't enough hours. All of these things take a thousand hours at least to achieve industry level competence. I have to break the mountain down into so many teeny rocks, most of the time, I feel like I'm not getting anywhere.


Maybe somewhere. A little where. Sometimes. But sooooo sloooooow.


In addition to all this, I haven't given up playing the piano. I have one song I am determined to learn well enough to get through it without any mistakes. I'm about half way there. I practice every Tuesday for about 15 minutes. It has taken me two years to get to where I am now. Take that and multiply it across all the disciplines I am attempting to learn and you pretty much know where I'm at.


Sometimes I just envy other people who are happy sticking with one thing. Especially if they find it young. My father wanted to be a pilot since he was 13. He went to college, joined the military, got his pilot's license, got hired by an airline, and flew various jets for 40 years. Point A to point B to point C. I'm like...what is your life? What is a linear path to success even like? I can't even wrap my head around it. What is that you say? You picked a career at 20, stuck with it, climbed the ladder and now make six figures? What? Is that normal? How? And Huh? And Why? Your life is a highway.


Mine is a janky unpaved backroad. I didn't start with a map. Well, kinda. My life map was definitely one of those hand drawn ones based on where your mom says Piggly Wiggle used to be. I like to hope all the things I've seen, all the bumps, and pitfalls, and strangers I've met on my quest to find the on-ramp have made me who I am and fed the stories I want to tell. But I feel like it's not coming together fast enough.


Is there a word in German for "that sense of having found a story or a purpose, but also the sense that you are failing it?"



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