Carmen Grillo, one of our new writers sent me this post that really made an impact on both me and Will (VP of MTG). In fact after reading this, Will had the urge to go for a jog while I just decided to buy a membership at a gym. No it’s not about working out and getting jacked. In your life you will experience an epiphany, most do, however most do not capitalize on it. Carmen did. He understands the essence of Mind the Gap and captivates it perfectly in his post below. Without further delay, I introduce to you Carmen Grillo.
Mind what Gap?
All gaps, as we all know, introduce a limit; they are the spaces between two things. What we are and what we want to be, the world we see and the world that is. At best, we can grasp at empty air, at worst, we fall through the cracks. But it is important to remember that a gap also means a possibility. Gaps in human knowledge, for example, only represent possibilities for extending ourselves into the realm of the unimaginable.
When I was a teenager, I discovered where I could begin to test myself through gaps. I started practicing martial arts. It started with Karate at the age of 14: I was chubby, slow, and not very well co-ordinated. But I had a passion for the art. I worked and worked, and thought I was good. I rose up the ranks, and eventually was ready to train for my black belt. I expected a couple of months of dedicated practice, and then an hour-long test. What I didn’t expect was a year of grueling mental and physical condition.
I lost 20 pounds in the first month of training, mostly because I would vomit out of anxiety before my daily 3 hour training sessions. Bam. Right there, the gap hit me. All of a sudden, the gap between how I saw myself as a martial artist and my real capabilities, reared its ugly head. Every ounce of pride I had in my abilities was crushed out of me, and I descended into a world of anxiety where panic attacks prevented me from seeing my friends, and sleep and training were the only ways to not feel nauseous.
I trained and trained, almost quitting three times. Even though I thought I was ruining my life, I couldn’t let years of work go to waste, just because things suddenly became difficult. Eventually the test day came, and I stared at a rift between me and the instructors in front of me. They stood victorious, red uniforms and black belts. I stood scared, nervous, and small.
But I was there to do a job, and I kept going. Six hours later, the chasm suddenly closed, and I had a bridge in front of me. Things that I thought impossible were actually easier than I had ever believed they could be. A gap turned into a lesson. My struggle with anxiety and panic gave me the tools to surmount any problem with which I was confronted.
A gap, a challenge, is only ever a gap as long as we insist on being proud and lazy. When we force ourselves to look at things in different ways, while simultaneously rolling up our sleeves, problems become possibilities. A poorly-planned road becomes a fine base for a bullet train, while a crooked pocket becomes a standard on suits.From social policy to fashion, gaps are not dead spaces, but room for the new, the exciting, and the revolutionary.