Daily Prompt – On the Edge

We all have things we need to do to keep an even keel – blogging, exercising, reading, cooking. What’s yours?

It’s nothing specific really. It changes from time to time. But, it does have to involve being creative. As long as I’m able to use my imagination, I’m fine. I guess that’s why I can amuse and entertain myself more than anyone else.

Sometimes I’ll see something and I’ll say, “Hey, I think I want to learn how to do that.” I don’t necessarily have to master it. Most of the time I just learn the basics and then move on to something else. I guess you could call them phases. Occasionally though, I’ll find something that I stick with for a long time.

percussionWhen I was a kid, it was music. I started on the piano when I was 10, but a year later I switched to the drums. The piano was nice, but for some reason I just wanted to bang on stuff. So, I started taking lessons at school and joined the band. I got quite good. I continued all through college. I did everything. Marching band, concert band, jazz band, percussion ensemble, Brass choir, orchestra, dixieland band, wind ensemble…everything. I even had a jazz group with my friends. I played the vibes. We got first place in a college talent show. I even played in a real symphony orchestra for a while.

Then one day, BOOM!…it stopped. Just like when Forest Gump decided to quit running. I woke up and I was like, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” And that was that. I gave up music. My friends didn’t understand it. “Why?” Idk. I just lost interest. Maybe I didn’t really have the passion to begin with. It was just something creative and it kept me occupied.

Years later, I found another interest. Trivia. Sounds dumb, right. I just had this compulsion to want to memorize stuff. I don’t know where it came from. It started with the U.S. presidents. Then world capitals. Then Pulitzer Prize winners. Academy Award winners. etc. etc. I made flash cards for everything.

questionOne day the Jeopardy Brain Bus came to town to conduct tryouts. I was like, “eh, why not”? So I went. It was at the Car Mart. I stood in line for 2 hours. The lady in front of my had brought the Trivial Pursuit Genus Edition and was reading off questions. She kept calling it the Genius Edition. I didn’t correct her. Nobody did.
I finally made it into the building and got to take the 1st test. It was 10 questions, fill-in-the-blank. I knew every one of them. When you were finished you would stand up and someone would come grade your paper. Congratulations, you passed. I was then given a card and instructions on where to go to take the big 50 question test. I was excited. The Trivial Pursuit lady didn’t make it.

The 50 question test was hard. Needless to say, I bombed out. But, it gave me encouragement.
So, I started trying out for every single game show that came to town and conducted auditions. And I continued to study.

I would always pass the tryout tests, but never get selected for the show. I decided it was because I would bomb out on the personality interview part. So, I did research into what they were looking for contestant-wise. I read articles and books. You can know stuff, but if you’re a drip on camera you’re assed out.

Finally, after 10 years of trying I got selected for a show. I got flown to L.A. and put up in a hotel. With most game shows you have to pay for all of that yourself, but this was a new show and they payed for everything. Anyway, I ended up being a 3-time champion and winning lots of money.

Then, BOOM! I lost interest. I didn’t want to do it anymore. All of my friends and family – the same ones who said, “Why are you doing all of this? Why are you wasting your time? Why do you study all the time?”- wouldn’t stop hounding me. “When are you going to try out for another show? When are you going to be on tv again?” blah blah blah.
To this day, people think I know EVERYTHING.

Basic RGBThem: Hey Bob, who’s that guy that did that thing in 1500?
Me: I’m sure I don’t know.
Them: But you were on that show.

Like that qualifies me to know everything in the entire universe. To be honest, I just got lucky. If you do something long enough, you’ll eventually get a hit.

So anyway, that’s my even keel. Whatever random thing that decides to interest me. Sometimes, it’s fleeting. Maybe a month, like with crochet. Or maybe years, like with juggling. Sometimes, it’s off and on, like with photography. And yes, even blogging. It could stop at any moment.

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