“Cock-a-doodle doo!” my nine-year-old self exclaimed with more conviction and certainty than anyone in the entire auditorium. I had nervously toyed with the idea of trying out for our school play for weeks, and when I found out that one of the roles was to be a lion that sounded like a rooster, I was immediately sure and proud that that was the part I was destined to play.
I spent numerous hours of the day testing out the lines in front of my family. I thought about this little hybrid lion day in and day out. However, even at the young age of nine, I was holding back and I knew it. I knew that my rooster call wasn’t up to par, but I also was afraid that the other children in my class would make fun of me if I did “too well”. But I kept practicing anyway, and in the quiets of my own bedroom I became the best lion that called like a rooster ever.
As I get older, I realize this same notion over and over again, just in scenarios that don’t necessarily contain lions emulating roosters. For one reason or another, there is a sense of fear that approaches and encroaches when one is given the option to give it their all. Think about it, when was the last time that you gave it your all? I mean truly, every single ounce of energy and motivation that you have, wrapped up neatly and given away to one particular endeavor?
I can say, wholeheartedly, that there are very few instances in which I can say, looking back, that I couldn’t have done more. Relationships, schoolwork, career planning, home projects, and even daily courtesies are a mere glimpse of the world in which I live yet seem to be unable to commit fully to. Perhaps it is because I pour myself into so many different things, but perhaps it is something far simpler than that.
Once you commit yourself fully to a notion or idea or undertaking, it immediately becomes apparent that you might fail. And if by putting everything that you have and everything that you are into that one task and you do fail, it hurts so much more than if you never even knew about it in the first place. I think that is why so many of us fear to take a leap, make a chance, and commit to a life that will undoubtedly be rewarding—we just get so caught up in those things that scare us and challenge our normalcy.
However, if I’ve learned anything in life, I’ve learned that sometimes it is more rewarding and significant to jump out in front of a crowd and out of your comfort to “cock-a-doodle doo” in the best way that you can.
I will never forget playing the lion who called like a rooster, and I will never forget the bravery that I displayed at such a young age. I will promise myself to take those chances in life and fully commit myself to a new “cock-a-doodle doo” of today.