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Blog

Winning, Ugh

Amber Adrian

Last week, I played my first real game of darts. I only lost by one point, which I’m taking as a win, despite the fact that it is, by definition, a loss.

Something that came up in the midst of playing darts in a pseudo-Elizabethan pub at 1 p.m. on a Thursday is that you can affect the outcome of your throw, even after the dart has left your hand.

So the question for me becomes, How do you truly enjoy a game, while also trying to win?

How do you keep your eye on what you truly want, while being happy with whatever ultimately happens?

I deeply want to sort this out for myself. Because of course I want to win. I am a human, and humans enjoy winning. We enjoy success and getting what we want. But, dear god, I don’t want to feel like I have to control everything always.

I want to enjoy every aspect of my life, no matter what it looks like. Because what’s the point of even getting the things, if you aren’t enjoying the journey there?

The reason I give up is because what begins to happen in my brain and body when it looks like things aren’t going to work out is so unpleasant that it’s unsustainable. Trying to win becomes so painful that it just isn’t worth it to me.

I always lose games. Always. Whether it’s darts, scrabble, card games, board games, I am consistently and always the loser. Because it’s just more fun to play the way I want to play without having to worry about winning.

Usually, I write myself to better answers than this - but it feels like I’m more in my head than my body, more in the swirl of feels than soul-led clarity.

Maybe that’s actually the answer - simply getting out of my head. Maybe joy is in the doing, no matter the outcome. Maybe life is in the motion of the body, rather than the swirl of the thoughts. Maybe allowing instinct and inspiration to take over and telling the voices in my head to sit down is the only real secret.

Something else that came up during this dart game is that we were both feeling glum about things that looked and felt like losses. But we were also playing darts in a pseudo-Elizabethan pub at 1 p.m. on a Thursday. Which is, in my opinion, the very definition of winning at life.

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After I took this picture, I got a bullseye. I took the picture too early.

Maybe that’s my answer - I’m taking stock too soon, rather than just letting everything unfold.