It’s Only Crazy If It Doesn’t Work
I saw a shirt the other day that read, “It’s only crazy if it doesn’t work.” It was a lovely Oregon Ducks shirt, maybe, or a Trailblazers hoodie. It was a testament to the insanity of “the fan.” These are the people who wear the same socks all season, do 4 jumping-jacks during every kickoff, or hum “Another One Bites the Dust,” when the opposing forward is at the free-throw line. Totally wacko.
It reminded me of my brilliantly funny Aunt Val, with her gross socks, going to every single Trailblazers home game out of duty first, love of the team second. “If I don’t go, they don’t win,” she said to me pragmatically. “It only sounds crazy until you realize that it’s completely true.”
It’s just superstition, right? It’s the same reason why I clearly avoid black cats and, to this day, throw salt over my left shoulder if I spill it. Still, there must be something to it beyond superstition. I think there is something to be said here about faith. About risk-taking.
My father has a good friend. Over the last 45 years, this man has amassed incredible wealth, several times, and lost it all. He has built airplanes, started a chicken hatchery, become a professor…every time he has wanted something, he has reached out for it with both hands, expecting the water that flowed beneath his feet to turn into stable ground. Many people would look at a person like him and shake their heads. “That guy’s crazy,” they would say. “He needs to keep his feet on the ground and stop making such reckless decisions.”
He has a beautiful family. A full life. Wonderful stories to tell. Enough to eat and drink. Did his schemes, “work”? Did they “fail”? Clearly some might call him crazy, but, he’s happy and fulfilled and living each moment with thunder. I think that means it’s working.
It’s not superstition, it’s an ability to jump out into life and expect that something will catch you.
I’m biased because this is the way I live my life. Specifically, I don’t have a plan MOST of the time. When I graduated from college, I packed up my car and told Kyle that I was driving from Vegas to Colorado to find a job, even though I had never even visited there before. “Why?” he asked, looking at me like I was growing an extra face out of my face.
“Because I think I should.”
That’s crazy talk. No one picks up, drives 12 hours into a state they’ve never seen before and then expects to get a job and house and then move their family there within 3 weeks. Except….
Except that it worked.
And living and working in Colorado was one of the best decisions we ever made as a family.
When I became a stay at home mom, it was the same. I quit teaching and decided I wasn’t going back. “I know how to write,” I thought. “Maybe I can do that for a living.” Within a week of deciding that, I had my first paying job as a copywriter. One week. I didn’t realize until later that I had done a thing that many people have not been successful at – work at home as a freelance writer and maintain a steady income.
Some people, like my husband, say that it’s luck. “It’s not fair that you were born with a horseshoe up your ass,” he says. He got mad when I told him that I lost my wallet in the mountains, then found it a day later, somehow picking the exact clutch of bushes and wilderness that I had been in the day before. He thinks that some people have good luck, and some people have bad, and that’s a thing that can’t be changed.
I don’t believe it.
I think that doing what seems crazy requires a bit of faith, some perseverance, and an ability to refuse to be told that you’re wrong. I think that ability to move past what people think and actually do what you think must be done is powerful. So powerful that the universe moves to help you accomplish those crazy goals.
Here’s some advice from a mostly crazy lady: Take a chance. Be risky. Do the thing that scares you most. Do the thing that you know you can’t do. Remember, it’s only crazy if it doesn’t work. And, if you believe that it can work, the universe is rooting for you to succeed. In fact, the universe might just be wearing stinky socks with your name all over them.