You think she was urging me because she’s secretly a hardcore fan of the franchise?

Well shit has certainly gotten real now. I’ve launched myself headfirst into editing up episode one of the Air Bud Pawdcast. I’m making sure everything’s running smoothly, keeping it to a listenable length. In short, I’m ensuring that you, the consumer, gets the best possible product for your time investment. The best part (for me, anyway)? I’m loving every minute. I’m having a ball slipping back in front of Pro Tools, my best friend for a period of 18 months in a small town. Things feel intuitive, natural. There’s a thrill in delving into the minutiae that really shouldn’t matter and make things sound nice. I’m not gonna cut it to shreds and present some needlessly slick, plastic experience. There’ll still be a few pops and clicks. There’s an annoying buzzing sound that we only discovered while recording episode two (there was an exposed piece of metal on the microphone that buzzed when I touched it). Thankfully it’s not detrimental to the listening experience. Lastly, I’m finding that the podcast is a listening experience. I’m enjoying it, which is saying something. By my very nature I look down on most things I produce. Yeah, I say “like” too much. I could get better at mic control to deal with how loud I get when I’m excited. Over the episode, some jokes don’t pan out. That’s okay though. It’s our first shot and as a first shot it’s fine. You know what? It’s good. We’ve done a good job. Who’re good boys? We’re good boys!

It’s important to me that this works out. To my therapist too. I had my first session in a while today and the topic came up. Entirely organically, I assure you. Frankly, it’s hard for me to not bring up the Pawdcast at every opportunity right now. We were talking about my general listlessness with my own character arc. I feel like I’m idling and becoming stagnant. Thing is, when I talk about the Pawdcast, when I think about recording or editing, doing research and writing my faux movie trailers, it buoys my spirits. My whole demeanour lifts. I mentioned my fear of failure and we boiled it down to its narcissistic roots. I want to succeed. I wanna be adored. It’s not charismatic, but it’s goddamn true. I want to create things that bring happiness to random strangers, who admire me for what I’ve done. Specifically strangers. I’ve got this ingrained notion that compliments from people who know me mean nothing. Of course they need to be nice. It’s socially required of them. Random strangers though? They don’t owe me anything. There’s no reason why they’d need to be polite, so anything positive they said would carry weight. Like everyone, I attach value to what others think of me. Thing is, I’ve got a hell of an ego to stoke. I crave praise, but conversely I rarely do enough to warrant it. Why? Because I’m terrified of failing.

I put boundaries or limitations around what I do that prevent me from giving my all. Why don’t I ever write longform or incisive pieces that dig into an issue? Because I only write for 30 minutes a day. How could I be expected to put out anything in that time? It’s not my fault, my hands are tied. Convenient, right? But I was the one who put that boundary there. I don’t deserve respect and love simply for being, those are things I have to earn. However, by establishing these limitations I’m precluding that possibility and still expecting the results. My therapist asked if I’d ever really failed in my life. Truly bombed hard. Put myself out there with everything only to find my work turning to ashes in my hands. I thought about it and stopped. No, never. I’d never failed or succeeded spectacularly. I’ve always coasted along just fine, but haven’t risen or fallen in a notable way. Then how can I expect to realise my dreams of acclaim?

“This podcast is important” she said, before I could correct her incorrect pronunciation of Pawdcast, “because you want it. You’ve found something you actually care about and it comes with stakes. If you fail, you’ll fail in public. People will know. You have to be prepared to deal with that. Failure is integral to growth, and as wrong as it sounds, I hope for your sake you fail. You will learn and you’ll need to stick with it, but this is healthy for you. This podcast means something to you and it should. It’s exactly what you need to be doing right now.”

I blinked and replied. “You do know it’s about a dog who plays sports, right?”

I guess it’s time I play to win.

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