Saturday, 2 July 2016

30 Day Challenge: Your proudest moment

I'm pretty sure I forgot about continuing this challenge because I couldn't answer this question at the time. (Not that I'm any wiser about it now.) Anyway, let's forget about that silly idea about answering in comics since it feels forced now. I have another challenge to do already but maybe I should just get rid of this one at the same time and make both a weekly thing for a while. :D

Ahem. Who can honestly decide their proudest moment? Maybe some people can. I certainly can't. This reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend some years ago. She had a random question for me: Three things about myself that I'm the proudest of. I had no idea what to answer. She had her answer ready and seemed so sure about it. But to me, this clearly isn't something I've thought a lot about. Maybe never, really. When I tried to answer it in this challenge the last time, I ran into a wall because I realized that most of the things that came to my mind were about other people, not me.

I guess that's just how I am? Of course I'm thrilled when I succeed, but I feel more lucky than proud. When the people close to me do, I'm thrilled and proud.

So, I figured that the moments I actually remember feeling proud for myself as well, is when I've achived something with other people. I still don't have just one moment in mind, but in general. I can recall that most of my fondest memories from school and hobbies are things like these.

So how about I reminisce for a while and see what comes up.

The moment after a dance concert when everyone stands together on stage.

This never stops being magical to me. No matter how hard it was, how much extra work appeared out of nowhere, how many mistakes happened, how much people yelled or fought, at this point none of it matters. At least it seems to me that it matters next to nobody. Everyone is exhausted and happy.

This is especially true of folk dance. No matter how much ballet means to me, it's still folk dance that takes the unity of the dancers to another level. It's especially amazing at big, international dance concerts. Sometimes it really feels like the more people there are, the more connected everyone is, which sounds like such a challenge. These events have never left me cold, whether I'm on stage or in the audience, I just feel so proud of everyone involved.

Almost any school project with the whole class involved.

My class from elementary school to middle school was known for good team spirit. It's pretty easy to see where that initially came from. We were the music class, so we had a hobby in common and we always had some performance to work on. (I think it was pretty much the same with the music classes in other grades too.) Our class definitely had its cliques but everything we did together we really did together, and it was always so much fun.

Most of it was about music of course. Be it a concert, a CD project, or a camp, all of it is a special memory to me. And that's because we never did just what we were supposed to. Our class was always ready to do more by ourselves, we came up with plays, dance performances, even cheerleading, and found ways to include it at school. If one person knew what to do, they could get the majority of our class to do it too. I was so proud of every project, because I always got to feel that we gave it our all.

The moment after a big successful family party, when everyone sighs for relief.

Parties are a big thing in my family. The preparations are always such a hassle, a massive amount of work, usually a lot of yelling, stomping, slamming doors, and tears. The parties are mostly my mother's thing, she has a vision, knows how everything should be. The rest of us often don't, but we try our best.

It's pretty safe to say the parties always turn out great in the end. But I think it's even better when the guests have left, and for a moment everyone is really satisfied that the work is over, and that it was worth it. At that moment everyone shares the feeling, everyone has the same look in their eyes: everyone thanks each other for the hard work. Every difference is put behind for a moment, and I'm really proud of my family.

Being able to hold the concrete results of a massive amount of work with someone.

I really mean this in a literal sense.

Like every time I filed new pages of the exchange comic I drew with my friend. To see it grow. To feel the weight of the years we'd drawn it.

To print a collaboration story, see it ”come alive” from the printer, page by page.

To read any portfolio of a group project, to see every string drawn together in that form.

Putting together a scrap book for a group, seeing memories from all the years together.

When everyone is enjoying a group project and contributing to it from their heart.

I guess this is what gives me one of the highest highs in general. And totally overlaps with everything I said already. But these moments I get to stop for a moment and just look at the people involved, and see that they're totally unselfconscious, because they're having so much fun and putting all their energy into what everyone is doing.

My high school theater dioloma project Case Casanova is one of my clearest and most treasured memories of this. We had such a great group.

Silly stuff I do with friends.

I actually do feel proud about silly accomplishments with friends. Like marathoning a series we love, or playing a successful (friendly) prank on someone.

And these are the ones I have nothing to do with, but I'll mention them since they keep coming to my mind:

When someone does something ”I always knew they could”. I think I can say I understand people's strong and weak points well, so I easily feel proud for them, because I often have more than a general understanding of what they needed to overcome, and what needed to click just right.

When awards go to the right people. This is totally subjective of course. Sometimes I feel like it's so great when someone is recognized for their pure talent, and then other times I'm so happy when someone's hard work is recognized, or when someone who can create a really good atmosphere gets the spotlight. It depends on the circumstances. I guess this is relevant to me because in some places only certain kind of efforts get recognition, and then it's always the same people.

When friends who fight or disagree a lot defend each other. This always warms me up so much. When people who never seem to see things the same way, or even seem to be having that great time together, are ready to put themselves on the line for each other.

When someone faces what they fear. Looks like this is related to the first one. But there's sort of a different drive in facing what you fear. I usually have a good idea about how scared someone really is, so in the moments they overcome it, all I see in them is power, and I can't help but admire it.

When things ”click” and someone realizes something about themselves. Or admits something. That's growth, and I'm a fan of growth.

When someone uses their priviledge to help someone else. Self-neglecting doesn't impress me, I'm all too familiar with how much that actually helps anyone. Nothing grows from it, but this is different. This doesn't make anyone smaller. When people realize there's a constructive way to help others, I'm overjoyed.

This is my best attempt at trying to answer this question. : P

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