One of the biggest things in life that irks me, what some may call a pet peeve, is something called preparation. Be prepared. Be prepared for the rain might fall and you will spoil your canvas shoes. Be prepared with your inhaler or you might get an asthma attack in the middle of your meeting. Be prepared by starving yourself or you may not be able to eat in a socially acceptable amount at the posh lunch you have to attend. How much of preparation is actual forward thinking and planning and how much is cause for anxiety? Whether you believe in God or evolution or alien invasion, is man a creature of preparation? Is it natural to him?
I can never discern the nature and limitations for preparation. Is preparation quantifiable? Is it a feeling? Is it illusory, a lie we are fed to tell us that we are not good enough? You can’t get married now, you are not prepared for it. You can’t have a child, you don’t have the right means to prepare for its care. You can’t have this job, you are just not prepared for it at all! Is preparation knowing or being? Is preparation being able to believe in your ability to do the required? How can I know if I can do something if I have not done it?
And that is the question really. Can you prepare yourself for raising a child? Where do you sign up? Do you practise on something? I am reminded of a Steve Carell Kristen Wiig sketch of preparing for a baby by playing with a doll. Even in a job scenario, say you are applying for a position where you have already have some “experience”, i.e. other jobs in the same field, it is not the same. Nothing is ever the same. Can you ever truly say that you are prepared for the next moment in your life?
If preparation was really such a big deal, why is there so much emphasis placed on spontaneity? Think of every successful person you know. Is it all preparation or isn’t there a varying but ever present amount of spontaneity that they have? There is a distinct difference between preparation and hard work. Hard work is opening yourself up to knowledge. Hard work is having the unabashed willingness to use your faculties to imbibe and create for the sake of achieving your desired ends. Preparation is simply what you would have fulfilled once you actually are done with the act. The one who says he or she is prepared is not being honest. You can only know your level of preparation after you are done.
I wish we could do away with preparation. I wish we lived in a world where what you had to offer and what you could potentially offer would be enough. I wish we lived in a world where we could do only that which we were excited to do. And I wish someday I might have the
preparation opportunity to do it.