I work in an office, with supremely civil, friendly people. My industry is largely populated by people who believe themselves to be secondary to a cause – in our case, the cultivation and growth of culture in the general, the preservation and proliferation of classical music and opera, in the specific.
It seems, often, that my job does not require courage.
I went to a great event at the Atlanta Opera – their 24-Hour Opera Project – this past weekend. Five teams had 24 hours to create a short work in its entirety: writing, learning, direction, performance. It was a huge undertaking. Add to that the fact that the event culminated in a juried presentation? As my college choir director would say, that takes cojones. Large steel ones,to be exact.
It was inspiring. Even thought not every piece and/or performance was out-of-the-park successful, it was fantastic to watch people throwing themselves at such a lofty goal. And, in a totally selfish way, it made me wonder whether I’m putting myself out there often enough, challenging myself to stretch beyond my comfort level.
(I already know the answer. I’m not. I’m comfortable, and getting more than a little boring in my complacency.)
So I’m spending this evening thinking about ways in which I can challenge myself in a meaningful way – not to take on additional responsibilities or duties because I feel I should, but to actually take a risk on something that will make me smarter/stronger/more interesting/more helpful/more useful. I’m going aim at something that could be a spectacular failure, but that I hope against all odds will be a great success.
Because, as I saw this weekend? Going big or going home is so very exciting.