What If I Mess Up?

The blank pages are there for when, not if, we make a mistake.

It was early in the morning. So early, in fact, that the sun was still not up. My wife, daughter, and I were wide awake, even if a bit dazed, in a new timezone, after a long day of traveling and a rough, but much needed night’s sleep.

I sat at the counter in my aunt’s home, drinking my coffee and writing my daily ‘story,’ as my daughter calls it. My daughter sat next to me with her travel art kit. She picked it out herself, with the help of the girl with the purple hair at the art store in West Annapolis.

She was painting an abstract watercolor in her art book. I asked her if she was going to give the painting to my aunt. She looked up at me, a very concerned and sincere look on her tiny face, and asked, “But daddy, what if I mess it up?” “That’s why there are more blank pages, dear,” I told her. She nodded in understanding and continued to paint.


Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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