Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Florence Foster Jenkins Story

I love this story, I really do. I think it is a lesson so many of us either learned the hard way or are scared to learn at all; that apptitude is not destiny. Those are the words of Mr. Green and he couldn't be more correct. You do not have to be amazing, or every mildly talented, at something to make it your own. You just need to have the drive and zero fear of failure. Not an easy combination but once you realize this very little is impossible.

I am not an amazing writer or an amazing farmer. And a few years ago I was not even mildly talented at falconry, driving horse, riding, or archery. However, I do have the time, effort, and will to learn these things enough to be respectful and competent in them. A perfect example for me: archery. And over the past few years my hours in front of archery targets not only went from a hobby based on a book I read (Thank you S.M. Stirling), but last summer it was my part time job teaching archery at a very respected Scottish School's American branch. I also now teach private and group lessons at my farm. I took passion, turned it into effort, which turned into money, which helps pay for my life here at Cold Antler. I get to help people get started in a sport I love, and they get to go home with a skill and possibly the same tools and passion to do the same. It is a wonderful feeling, and the same satisfaction I get teaching anything here - from fiddling your first tune to milking dairy goats to setting up an electric fence for your first pigs. Teaching beginners is my favorite thing in the world, especially beginners who remind me of my own excitement for life and learning. And Iif you think I care that I occasionally miss the target all together - I don't. I don't care and neither should you. So what if you're not good at a thing. Failing is beautiful. Mistakes are beautiful. Over the years I have learned some hard lessons and some easy ones, but over the years my expeince has grown and in another five years or so this farm will be miles ahead in experience and improvement, I promise you that. Because we don't need to be amazing. We just need to try. We need to have the courage to not care about what others think of our passions. If what you love doing in this world isn't hurting others, brings you joy, and can in some ways make this world a better place - you are obligated to endeavor.

I mean, If Florence can play Carnegie Hall you can totally get a few chickens. Right?

P.S. I really hope you guys are watching the Vlog Brothers. This is one of their videos and they have a couple hundred more doing everything from explaining the state of Egyptian politics to how to apologize correctly. They are kind, hilarious, talented, and the creators of Nerdfighteria. They might be the last best force of good in the media today. Watch them. Also, DFTBA.


Blogger Chautauqua said...

And Jenna, you taught me to play violin! And now I take great pride in playing and working thru all kinds of music.

December 29, 2013 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Truly, this is what it is all about. I would not want to live in a world where we could not fail, take stock, and try again. As we go into 2014, this is great to remember:)

December 29, 2013 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jenna I think it is great that you are following your dreams and many of them are coming true!

December 29, 2013 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jenna I am glad that you are following your dreams and that a lot of them are coming true. Much success in the New Year!

December 29, 2013 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger EZ said...

The fact that you are a nerdfighter absolutely blows my mind and is completely fabulous. DFTBA.

December 29, 2013 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Newenglander02809 said...

Jenna, this was great. Never give up on this great dream you are living. We are living it with you. Happy New Year!

December 29, 2013 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Newenglander02809 said...

Jenna, this was great. Never give up on this great dream you are living. We are living it with you. Happy New Year!

December 29, 2013 at 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha, Florence's singing startled my two dogs awake!

Keep pursuing your dreams, Jenna!

December 29, 2013 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger lrusley said...

thank you for inspiring me - again. I read your blog and every time I feel strengthened and enthused to go back out and do what I've always wanted to do - I too have barnheart - and am finally on acreage in northern bc in a tiny little house with a wood stove and chickens, and hopefully much more one day. Sometimes I feel like a fish out of water for chopping wood and battling all the critters that are out to get my chicks, and worrying about frozen water lines, when back in the city it was so simple and, well, clean. Like I should leave this life for those who know what they're doing. Then I read your words and feel ok about jumping into to something I've always wanted - but have no idea how to. So it's so great to read how you are doing it, and succeeding. And your horse. Is. Beautiful. I wish that I could attend some of your workshops.

December 30, 2013 at 3:22 PM  

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