“I’ll try.” That phrase can send creepy crawlies all over some people. That’s what people say when they aren’t really going to put 100% into a task. That’s what people say when they don’t want to commit. That’s what people say when they don’t really care. It drips with mediocrity. “I’ll try to make it.” They don’t make it. “I’ll try to get it done.” It doesn’t get done. “Well, I tried. What else do you want from me?” The famous line from Yoda “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” We want them to do it, or not, but pick one. Black or white. Up or down. A definitive something. Don’t just “try”.

But what if all they can do is try? What if they know they can’t but are willing to do the best that they are able? What if despite knowing that failure is inevitable they still give it all they got and they try? Someone with a chronic illness may not make it to the party but they got up and showered and to the car but that was as far as they could get. But they tried. The last time they didn’t even make it as far as the car. Someone struggling financially may not be able to get the exact gift you asked for but they saved for weeks to get you something. They tried. 

Not everyone is capable of all the things all the time. As someone who’s fought depression and anxiety for years I know how disappointing it is to people to hear me say “I’ll try”. The struggle in my head is real. There are days when getting from the bed to the couch is a victory. There are days when I count the time between tears in hours instead of days. Some days all I can do is try. I may not make it. I may not get it done. I may not be the best. I may not do it perfectly… but I tried. I didn’t give up. I didn’t give in. I didn’t succumb. I tried. I did my best. My best may not be up to someone else’s standards but it’s all I’ve got. 

There’s a high expectation nowadays. The need for instant gratification and Instagram perfection is rampant. If it’s not everything then it’s nothing. It makes you want to not try. You’ll never measure up anyway so what’s the point? The point is sometimes the trying is the thing. Sometimes just making the attempt is the biggest step. Ask for that girl’s number. She might say no but at least you tried. Get up and sing karaoke. You may sound horrible but at least you tried. Go take a shower and get in the car. You might not actually go to the party but at least you tried. Tell that guy how you feel about him. He may not reciprocate but at least you tried. And every time you try you add to yourself and you add to the world. You may fail. You may succeed. Always try.