[DAY 31] About Margin of Error

I made cheesecake today. It’s still in the oven, but the smell sneaks to every corner of the house, and I can’t wait to try it.

As I was mixing eggs, egg yolks, and whipped cream together, my hand shook. My hands have been like that for a while now, even when I read or ride the bike, I don’t feel stable. Thus, I was worried that I would shook the liquid out of the spoon and spill everything. That really happened with salt, but since salt is no longer the most valuable thing on Earth like it was a couple years ago, I didn’t care. I let them spill, but whipped cream? No way!

So I was careful, pouring the cream in a bowl in a safe distance from the electronic mixer, while my mind raced through 1001 possibilities of what could go wrong. I would have to clean everything, that’s for sure, but was it going to be that bad? Not really. Jeff and Emily would certainly shrug it off, and it would just take me a couple of minutes to make the scene look like nothing happened.

Lately, I have been following Elon Musk on Twitter and watching his speeches and talks. When he talked about SpaceX in 2013, within the context of how Elon Musk decided to make a small fortune in the space industry out of a big one from the sale of Paypal, he said that there is no margin of error for making rocket. You don’t know how your rocket is going to turn out, because the only way to test it is to shoot it to the sky, and either you drastically fail with your rocket exploding in the air, or it go just as far as the creators expected it to do.

And yet they have launched several. They have progressed significantly over the years, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next. And I think of how in the day-to-day life, it is not common for us to be in the creating process to can-not-fail. I mean, yes it’s not fun to fail an exam, but there’s always another chance to do it again. If I spilled the cream, I can do it again. If I make a project, and it doesn’t go as I wish, I can do it again. The only barrier of trying over might be that we don’t believe in ourselves or in others – that if you fail once or twice, it maybe fate and you should do something else.

I think people around me are generous with their time and resources. They provide me the opportunities to fail and fail drastically, although I can’t remember what are the lessons that significantly changed me. My parents, Jeff and Emily, and most of the friends I let be by my side. They all have experienced my failed moments – of speaking a language poorly or writing nonsensically on my blog. The first steps of a lifetime of creating and trying again start, I believe, not within oneself, but with who we surround ourselves with.

I have been lucky. Nevertheless, I didn’t create enough. I didn’t try enough because I still feel ashamed when the products don’t turn out well. (Bruh, who doesn’t feel that way?) But I gotta make the most out of what others give me in terms of support and resources. So here it is, the promise.

Published by Thi Le


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